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Gold price firmer amid some Friday risk aversion

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(Kitco News) - Gold futures prices are modestly up in early U.S. trading Friday, as there is slight risk aversion in the marketplace. Inflation worries, central banks uncertainty and North Korea making new threats against the U.S. are all prompting a bit of unease heading into a three-day U.S. holiday weekend. U.S. markets are closed Monday for the Martin Luther King holiday. February gold futures were last up $3.30 at $1,824.70 and March Comex silver was last down $0.142 at $23.03 an ounce.

The U.S. data point of the day is the retail sales report for December, which came in much weaker than expected at down 1.9% from November. The figure was expected to show a reading of down 0.1% from November, after rising 0.3% in the previous report. Gold prices did move up just a bit after the report.

Global stock markets were mostly weaker overnight. U.S. stock indexes are pointed toward mixed openings when the New York day session begins. U.S. equities traders are awaiting several major financial firms' earnings reports due out today.

Gold price has 'innate ability to rally when consensus is bearish' – MKS

The key "outside markets" today see Nymex crude oil futures prices higher, at a two-month high and trading around $82.85 a barrel. The U.S. dollar index is slightly up early today and hit a two-month low overnight. The U.S. Treasury 10-year note is presently yielding 1.729%.

Other U.S. economic data due for release Friday includes import and export prices, industrial production and capacity utilization, manufacturing and trade inventories, and the University of Michigan consumer sentiment survey.

Live 24 hours gold chart [Kitco Inc.]

Technically, the February gold futures bulls have the overall near-term technical advantage. Bulls' next upside price objective is to produce a close in February futures above solid resistance at $1,850.00. Bears' next near-term downside price objective is pushing futures prices below solid technical support at the January low of $1,781.30. First resistance is seen at today's high of $1,829.30 and then at the January high of $1,833.00. First support is seen at today's low of $1,818.00 and then at Thursday's low of $1,811.80. Wyckoff's Market Rating: 6.5

Live 24 hours silver chart [ Kitco Inc. ]

March silver futures bears have the overall near-term technical advantage. Silver bulls' next upside price objective is closing prices above solid technical resistance at the December high of $23.48 an ounce. The next downside price objective for the bears is closing prices below solid support at the December low of $21.41. First resistance is seen at today's high of $23.345 and then at the December high of $23.48. Next support is seen at today's low of $22.88 and then at Wednesday's low of $22.68. Wyckoff's Market Rating: 3.0.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and may not reflect those of Kitco Metals Inc. The author has made every effort to ensure accuracy of information provided; however, neither Kitco Metals Inc. nor the author can guarantee such accuracy. This article is strictly for informational purposes only. It is not a solicitation to make any exchange in commodities, securities or other financial instruments. Kitco Metals Inc. and the author of this article do not accept culpability for losses and/ or damages arising from the use of this publication.