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Gold price firmer as risk aversion quickly resurfaces

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(Kitco News) - Gold and silver prices are higher in early U.S. trading Tuesday, on safe-haven demand and more short covering by futures traders. "Risk-off" trading and investing attitudes have returned to the general marketplace after a one-day respite Monday. February gold was last up $9.70 at $1,794.90 and March Comex silver was last up $0.043 at $22.895 an ounce.

Global stock markets were mixed to lower in overnight trading. The U.S. stock indexes are pointed to lower openings when the New York day session begins. Risk aversion is keener Tuesday as there are still major unknowns regarding the new Omicron strain of the coronavirus, including how effective current vaccines are at fighting it. Regeneron Tuesday morning said its antibody drug is less effective on the Omicron strain. Moderna said Omicron's many mutations suggest a new vaccine will be needed.

Gold prices push to session highs following disappointing U.S. consumer confidence numbers

Traders and investors will closely monitor comments from Fed Chairman Jerome Powell and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen in their testimony to the Senate Banking Committee today—especially in light of the new Omicron scare. The new coronavirus strain is prompting new worries about major economies once again being crimped by business lockdowns and reduced consumer demand. The Federal Reserve could be forced to dial back its recently announced tapering of its bond-buying program, due to concerns about another slowdown in the U.S. economy if Omicron surges in the U.S.

Gold and U.S. Treasuries are benefiting Tuesday from safe-haven demand.

In other overnight news, the Euro zone's consumer price index for November came in hot, at up 4.9% year-on-year, for the highest reading in 30 years. Energy prices were up 27.4%, year-on-year.

The key "outside markets" see Nymex crude oil prices lower and trading around $68.30 a barrel. The U.S. dollar index is solidly lower. Meantime, The yield on the U.S. Treasury 10-year note is presently fetching 1.443%, which is well down from the 1.529% reading Monday.

U.S. economic data due for release Tuesday includes the weekly Johnson Redbook and chain store retail sales reports, the S&P/Case-Shiller home price index, the ISM Chicago business survey, and the consumer confidence index.

Live 24 hours gold chart [Kitco Inc.]

Technically, February gold futures bulls have the slight overall near-term technical advantage. A two-month-old uptrend on the daily bar chart is still alive, but just barely. Bulls' next upside price objective is to produce a close above solid resistance at last week's high of $1,853.00. Bears' next near-term downside price objective is pushing futures prices below solid technical support at the November low of $1,761.00. First resistance is seen at Monday's high of $1,801.50 and then at $1,810.00. First support is seen at the overnight low of $1,784.30 and then at last week's low of $1,780.20. Wyckoff's Market Rating: 5.5

Live 24 hours silver chart [ Kitco Inc. ]

The March silver bears have the overall near-term technical advantage. A seven-week-old uptrend on the daily bar chart has been negated. Silver bulls' next upside price objective is closing December futures prices above solid technical resistance at $25.00 an ounce. The next downside price objective for the bears is closing prices below solid support at the September low of $21.46. First resistance is seen at Monday's high of $23.46 and then at $23.77. Next support is seen at $22.50 and then at $23.40. Wyckoff's Market Rating: 3.0.

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