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(Kitco News) - Comex gold prices ended near unchanged Monday, while silver prices were solidly lower. Sharp losses in the crude oil market pressured the precious metals Monday, but a lower U.S. dollar index did limit the downside gold and silver. The metals markets did not react significantly to the Sunday arrest of IMF leader Strauss-Kahn in New York City on rape charges. June gold last traded up $1.00 at $1,494.60. Spot gold last traded down $0.40 an ounce at $1,495.50. July Comex silver last traded down $0.75 at $34.26 an ounce.

Crude oil prices traded sharply lower Monday, in part due to the added IMF/European Union debt uncertainty after the IMF leader was  put behind bars. However, recent reports have shown worldwide demand for crude oil has weakened due to the recent higher prices. There is also technical weakness in the crude oil market. Trading in crude has become choppy recentlyl. Crude oil is still the leader in the raw commodity market sector. If crude oil prices back off some more, many other commodity markets, including precious metals, will likely do the same, or at least see upside price potential limited.

The U.S. dollar index was trading near steady Monday morning, but then sold off as the day wore on and the Euro rebounded as the market impact of the Strauss-Kahn jailing quickly subsided. Still, the U.S. dollar index bulls have some upside technical momentum to begin to suggest that at least a near-term market low is in place. Any sustained recovery in the U.S. dollar index would be a bearish development for the precious metals markets.

Euro zone inflation rose to 2.8% year on year in April, according to a Eurostat report Monday. That rate is a 2.5-year high and does hint the European Central Bank will have to further tighten monetary policy sooner rather than later. The stronger inflation reading was a mildly bullish factor for the precious metals markets and did somewhat limit selling interest in gold and silver Monday.

The London P.M. gold fixing $1,500.75 versus the previous P.M. fixing of $1,505.75.

Technically, June Comex gold futures closed near mid-range Monday. Bulls do still have the overall near-term and longer-term technical advantage, but have faded recently, including a bearish weekly low close last Friday. Bulls' next near-term upside technical objective is to produce a close above solid technical resistance at last week's high of $1,526.80. Bears' next near-term downside price objective is closing prices below solid technical support at the May low of $1,462.50. First resistance is seen at Monday's high of $1,504.30 and then at $1,510.00. First support is seen at Monday's low of $1,486.00 and then at $1,480.00. Wyckoff's Market Rating: 6.5.

July Comex silver futures closed nearer the session low Monday. Serious near-term chart damage has occurred in silver recently, to suggest at least a near-term market top is in place. The next downside price breakout objective for the bears is closing prices below major psychological support at $30.00. Bulls' next upside price objective is producing a close above solid technical resistance at $37.00 an ounce. First resistance is seen at $35.00 and then at Monday's high of $35.40. Next support is seen at Monday's low of $34.00 and then at $33.50. Wyckoff's Market Rating: 4.0.

July N.Y. copper closed up 40 points at 398.75 cents Monday. Prices closed near mid-range and saw tepid short covering in a bear market after hitting a 5.5-month low last week. Solidly lower crude oil prices today limited the upside in copper, but a solidly lower U.S. dollar index limited the downside. Copper bears still have the near-term technical advantage as serious near-term technical damage has been inflicted recently. Copper prices are in a five-week-old downtrend on the daily bar chart. Copper bulls' next upside breakout objective is pushing and closing prices above solid technical resistance at 410.00 cents. The next downside price breakout objective for the bears is closing prices below solid technical support at last week's low of 385.35 cents. First resistance is seen at 400.00 cents and then at Monday's high of 401.95 cents. First support is seen at Monday's low of 394.65 cents and then at 392.80 cents. Wyckoff's Market Rating: 4.0.

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By Jim Wyckoff of Kitco News;

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