(Kitco News) - Comex gold futures are little changed in Thursday morning New York action, as the market consolidates above the $1,400.00 per ounce level for the third session in a row. Silver futures pushed to a fresh 30-year high in early New York trading.

The metals markets remain well bid heading into year-end as they continue to offer traders a safe-haven against uncertainty regarding the health of the euro-zone, the pace of recovery in the U.S. and amid the U.S. Federal Reserve's massive on-going policy of monetary accommodation.

February Comex gold last traded down $0.90 at $1,412.60 an ounce. Spot gold last traded up 0.14 at $1411.78.

In the wake of spot gold's nearly 30% gains in 2010, many major investment houses remain bullish on the metals into 2011, with upside targets for gold above $1,500 per ounce in the year ahead. Silver continues to climb higher, with support from both the precious and industrial metals angle, as it is viewed as a less expensive alternative to the yellow metal.

The U.S. dollar index is marginally lower Thursday, as the greenback extends the negative tone from Wednesday. U.S. Treasury yields slid lower in the wake of strong demand, especially from foreign buyers, for Wednesday's $29 billion sale of 7-year notes. The lower yields weighed on the U.S. dollar across the board.

The euro/dollar is climbing higher early Thursday, still above its key 200-day moving average, currently at $1.3084. That average has propped up euro/dollar over the last week and continued strength above that key moving average will be supportive to the technical picture.

The December 30 a.m. gold fix was $1,411.50 versus the previous p.m. fix at $1412.50.

On the economic calendar Thursday's 1330 GMT U.S. weekly jobless claims release offers traders the next clue on the health of the U.S. labor market. The previous week's data came in at 420,000. Other data on the horizon Thursday includes the December ISM Chicago PMI business survey. November's release saw the employment index at 56.3% and the new orders index at 67.2%. Also, on the docket Thursday in the U.S. is the November pending home sales index.

The forex market's reaction to Thursday's data could impact metals trading.

Technically, February Comex gold futures remain in a strong technical long-term uptrend and are within striking distance of a retest of the December 7 all-time high at $1,432.50. Very short term, minor near term resistance lies at $1417/1419. Beyond $1,432.50, the psychological round number at $1,450 will attract traders.

On the downside, short-term technical chart support for Feb gold is seen at $1409.00/1407.00. A stronger layer of technical support is seen at the $1372.70/60 zone.

March silver futures are trading at new 30-year highs Thursday, recently changing hands at $30.755 per ounce, up .066. Overall bullish sentiment remains strong for silver.

The technical trend remains bullish for silver, a look at the monthly chart reveals four months of massive gains. With the market trading in virtually uncharted territory, upside targets are difficult to pinpoint. Very long-term bulls are eyeing the 1980 nominal high at $50 an ounce as a longer term price objective. The intraday high at $30.930 will resist near term, along with $31.00. Short-term support lies at $30.145 and then $29.985.

Trading will likely remain light heading into the New Year holiday, with thin volumes, which could limit additional upside strength over the next day or two, as many players are absent from their desks.

By Kitco News

Don’t Miss a Word! Read Kitco News on the Go with Kcast Gold Live for iPad! Get it now!

<<Back to more Kitco exclusive news

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 precious metal products, 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