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Gold price firmer on short covering ahead of key U.S. data

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(Kitco News) - Gold prices are modestly up in early U.S. trading Wednesday, with silver near steady. Short covering is featured in the precious metals futures markets just ahead of an important U.S. economic data point. April gold was last up $3.50 at $1,822.10 and May silver was up $0.009 at $20.16.

The general marketplace is quieter Thursday, ahead of 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. Look for higher volatility in many markets is the non-farm jobs print misses expectations.

Global stock markets were mixed to weaker overnight. U.S. stock indexes are pointed toward slightly lower openings when the New York day session begins.

In overnight news, China’s inflation eased as its February consumer price index rose just 1.0%, year-on-year, compared to a consensus forecast of up 1.7%. Those numbers are way below recent inflation numbers reported by the European Union, the U.S. and other major industrialized countries.

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The key outside markets today see the U.S. dollar index lower. Nymex crude oil futures prices are slightly up and trading around $76.75 a barrel. The yield on the benchmark U.S. 10-year Treasury note is presently fetching 3.987%.

U.S. economic data due for release Thursday includes the weekly jobless claims report and the Challenger job-cuts report. President Biden also releases his fiscal year 2024 budget today.

Live 24 hours gold chart [Kitco Inc.]

Technically, the gold futures bears have the slight overall near-term technical advantage. Bulls’ next upside price objective is to produce a close in April futures above solid resistance at this week’s high of $1,864.30. Bears' next near-term downside price objective is pushing futures prices below solid technical support at $1,800.00. First resistance is seen at Wednesday’s high of $1,828.70 and then at $1,835.00. First support is seen at this week’s low of $1,813.40 and then at the February low of $1,810.80. Wyckoff's Market Rating: 4.5

Live 24 hours silver chart [ Kitco Inc. ]

The silver bears have the firm overall near-term technical advantage. Prices are in a steep five-week-old downtrend on the daily bar chart. Silver bulls' next upside price objective is closing May futures 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 $20.505 and then at $21.00. Next support is seen at this week’s low of $19.955 and then at $19.50. 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.