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Price gains for gold, silver on some safe-haven demand

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(Kitco News) - Gold and silver prices are firmer in early U.S. trading Tuesday, on some mild safe-haven buying on news that a major dam and power station in Ukraine has been blown up and major flooding is occurring in the region. The largest nuclear power plant in Europe may now be in jeopardy. August gold was last up $6.50 at $1,980.70 and July silver was up $0.175 at $23.815.

The Russians are blaming Ukraine for the destruction of the dam, which is in Russian-controlled territory in Ukraine. The Ukrainians said the Russians are responsible. The marketplace will be monitoring this situation very closely the next couple days.

Asian and European stock markets were mixed overnight. U.S. stock indexes are pointed toward slightly lower openings when the New York day session begins. U.S. equities bulls remain resilient as the major stock indexes trade at or near their highs for the year.

In overnight news, reports said China financial authorities are asking nation's largest lenders to lower their deposit rates in order to boost economic growth. State-owned banks, including the Bank of China, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and Bank of Communications were last week advised to cut rates on their deposits by 5 basis points on demand deposits and 10 basis points on three- and five-year deposits.

Australia's central bank Tuesday raised its main interest rate by 0.25%, to 4.10%. The bank said more rate hikes may be needed to contain inflation.

Russia sells gold and yuan from its National Wealth Fund to finance budget deficit

The key outside markets today see the U.S. dollar index higher. Nymex crude oil prices are lower and are trading around $70.75 a barrel. The marketplace is taking note of oil's inability to rally in the aftermath of Saudi Arabia's surprise move pledging to unilaterally cut its oil production by 1 million barrels per day starting in July. Nymex crude prices are presently lower than they were just prior to the weekend Saudi news. A Wall Street Journal story headline today reads: "Commodity prices signal slump." Meantime, the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note yield is presently fetching 3.662%.  

U.S. economic data due for release Tuesday is light and includes the weekly Johnson Redbook retail sales report and the IDB/TIPP economic optimism index.

Live 24 hours gold chart [Kitco Inc.]

Technically, the gold futures bulls have the overall near-term technical advantage. Bulls' next upside price objective is to produce a close in August futures above solid resistance at $2,000.00. Bears' next near-term downside price objective is pushing futures prices below solid technical support at the May low of $1,949.60. First resistance is seen at $1,985.00 and then at $2,000.00. First support is seen at the overnight low of $1,972.90 and then at this week's low of $1,953.80. Wyckoff's Market Rating: 6.0

Live 24 hours silver chart [ Kitco Inc. ]

The silver bulls and bears are on a level overall near-term technical playing field. Silver bulls' next upside price objective is closing July futures prices above solid technical resistance at $25.00. The next downside price objective for the bears is closing prices below solid support at the May low of $22.785. First resistance is seen at $24.00 and then at last week's high of $24.12. Next support is seen at the overnight low of $23.50 and then at this week's low of $23.32. Wyckoff's Market Rating: 5.0.

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.