Gold loses modest early gains on bearish outside markets
(Kitco News) - Gold and silver prices are steady to weaker in midday U.S. trading Tuesday. Early gains in gold on some more short covering and bargain hunting were erased when the key "outside markets" turned more bearish today, as crude oil prices fell and the U.S. dollar index firmed up. April gold futures were last down $0.90 at $1,728.40 and May Comex silver was last down $0.273 at $26.02 an ounce.
It was a very busy day for U.S. economic data released Tuesday, highlighted by retail sales, which came in down 3.0% versus expectations of down 0.5% in February, likely due to inclement weather conditions during the month. However, the markets were little moved as the January retail sales number was revised up to a 7.6% rise from the initial number of up 5.3%.
Global stock markets were mixed but mostly higher overnight. U.S. stock indexes are mixed at midday. The Dow and the S&P 500 are trading near this week's record highs, which continues to constrain demand for the safe-haven metals.
The Federal Reserve's two-day Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting began Tuesday morning and ends Wednesday afternoon with a statement and new U.S. economic projections. While no change in U.S. monetary policy is expected at this week's meeting, traders will be closely scrutinizing wording on the Fed's economic growth and inflation prospects.
The key "outside markets" today see Nymex crude oil futures prices lower and trading around $64.50 a barrel. Meantime, the U.S. dollar index is a bit higher today. The U.S. Treasury 10-year Treasury note is presently yielding 1.603%.
Technically, April gold futures bears have the firm overall near-term technical advantage. However, good price gains this week would begin to suggest a market bottom is in place. Prices are in a nine-week-old downtrend on the daily bar chart. Bulls' next upside price objective is to produce a close above solid resistance at $1,750.00. Bears' next near-term downside price objective is pushing futures prices below solid technical support at the March low of $1,673.30. First resistance is seen at today's high of $1,740.50 and then at $1,750.00. First support is seen at this week's low of $1,719.20 and then at $1,700.00. Wyckoff's Market Rating: 3.0
May silver futures bears have the slight overall near-term technical advantage. Prices are in a six-week-old downtrend on the daily bar chart. Silver bulls' next upside price objective is closing prices above solid technical resistance at $27.50 an ounce. The next downside price objective for the bears is closing prices below solid support at the March low of $24.845. First resistance is seen at today's high of $26.405 and then at last week's high of $26.545. Next support is seen at this week's low of $25.845 and then at $25.425. Wyckoff's Market Rating: 4.5.
May N.Y. copper closed down 605 points at 408.00 cents today. Prices closed nearer the session low on profit taking. The copper bulls still have the firm overall near-term technical advantage. However, a 12-month-old uptrend on the daily bar chart may be stalling out. Copper bulls' next upside price objective is pushing and closing prices above solid technical resistance at the February high of 437.55 cents. The next downside price objective for the bears is closing prices below solid technical support at the March low of 384.90 cents. First resistance is seen at today's high of 414.95 cents and then at this week's high of 419.00 cents. First support is seen at today's low of 405.65 cents and then at 400.00 cents. Wyckoff's Market Rating: 7.0.