Gold, silver punished by still-hawkish Powell
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(Kitco News) - Gold and silver prices are sharply lower in midday U.S. trading Tuesday, as the metals market bulls are feeling the pressure of a still significantly hawkish U.S. central bank. April gold was last down $34.80 at $1,819.80 and May silver prices hit a five-month low and were last down $0.925 at $20.21.
Focus of the marketplace today was on Fed Chairman Jerome Powell’s testimony on U.S. monetary policy to a Senate committee. Powell leaned hawkish, which was not surprising to many, but the marketplace did deem his remarks as being more hawkish than the central bank chief had been in the recent past. Powell said the Fed will likely have to keep U.S. interest rates higher for longer to win the war against problematic price inflation. He said recent stronger U.S. economic data has likely rolled back some of the softening the U.S. had seen on the inflation front the past few months. The U.S. dollar rallied sharply on Powell’s remarks and hit a three-month high. However, U.S. Treasury yields did not react much to Powell’s comments. The U.S. stock indexes sold off sharply on his remarks, as did crude oil. Powell speaks to a House of Representatives panel on Wednesday. The hawkish Powell is bearish for the metals markets because of the implications of softening consumer and commercial demand as the tighter central bank policies squeeze their respective economies in order to reduce demand.
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Traders and investors are also looking forward to the February U.S. employment situation report from the Labor Department on Friday morning. The key non-farm payrolls component of the report is expected to show a rise of 225,000 jobs, following a mammoth rise of 517,000 in the January report.
The key outside markets see the U.S. dollar index sharply up and hitting a three-month high. Nymex crude oil futures prices are sharply down and trading around $78.00 a barrel. The yield on the benchmark U.S. 10-year Treasury note is presently fetching around 3.93%.
Technically, April gold futures bulls have lost their slight overall near-term technical advantage. Bulls’ next upside price objective is to produce a close above solid resistance at this week’s high of $1,850.50. Bears' next near-term downside price objective is pushing futures prices below solid technical support at $1,800.00. First resistance is seen at $1,835.00 and then at $1,850.00. First support is seen at the February low of $1,810.80 and then at $1,800.00. Wyckoff's Market Rating: 5.0.
May silver futures prices hit a five-month low today. The silver bears have the firm overall near-term technical advantage and gained fresh power today. Prices are in a steep five-week-old downtrend on the daily bar chart. Silver bulls' next upside price objective is closing prices above solid technical resistance at $21.50. The next downside price objective for the bears is closing prices below solid support at $19.00. First resistance is seen at $20.50 and then at $21.00. Next support is seen at $20.00 and then at $19.50. Wyckoff's Market Rating: 3.0.
March N.Y. copper closed down 1,205 points at 398.00 cents today. Prices closed near the session low today. The copper bulls have the slight overall near-term technical advantage but trading has been choppy and sideways recently. Copper bulls' next upside price objective is pushing and closing prices above solid technical resistance at the February high of 423.70 cents. The next downside price objective for the bears is closing prices below solid technical support at 380.00 cents. First resistance is seen at 405.00 cents and then at 410.00 cents. First support is seen at the February low of 393.45 cents and then at 390.00 cents. Wyckoff's Market Rating: 5.5.