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(Kitco News) - Comex gold and silver futures prices closed solidly higher Monday on more safe-haven investment demand amid the debt crises playing out in Europe and the U.S. The debt problems on both sides of the ocean have rattled most of the world's currency and stock markets. Gold is now viewed by even more investors as a currency and/or the safest asset in a very risky world market place. August gold last traded up $12.30 at $1,602.40 an ounce. Spot gold last traded up $8.10 an ounce at $1,602.75. December Comex silver last traded up $1.159 at $40.25 an ounce.

There is still trader and investor nervousness on the European Union sovereign debt front and on the U.S. debt-ceiling debate. Despite efforts on both sides of the Atlantic to resolve or control those situations, the market place on Monday was still viewing the matters with anxiety. European banks' stress test results on Friday were about as expected but have failed to assuage traders and investors. EU leaders are scheduled to hold a summit on Thursday, regarding the matter. And the U.S. congress and the President Obama are still at loggerheads over raising the U.S. debt ceiling that will be hit in early August. The wrangling has invited still more buying demand for the precious metals markets.

The U.S. dollar index traded higher morning, on short covering and some safe-haven buying interest on the idea that the U.S. currency is the lesser of evils in the currency markets. Recent price action in the dollar index suggests the index will trade choppy and trendless in the near term. Any further weakening of the dollar index would be a bullish development for the precious metals.

Crude oil prices traded solidly lower Monday. There are presently fears a world economic slowdown is in progress amid the EU debt crisis, which have been a bearish weight on the crude oil market recently. Recent choppy and sideways price action in the crude oil market suggests more of the same in the near term.

The London P.M. gold fixing was $1,599.00 versus the previous P.M. fixing of $1,587.00.

Technically, August Comex gold futures prices closed nearer the session high Monday. Gold bulls have the strong overall near-term technical advantage. There are still no early clues to suggest a market top is close at hand and the path of least resistance for prices remains sideways to higher for gold. Bulls' next near-term upside technical objective is to produce a close above psychological resistance at $1,625.00. Bears' next near-term downside price objective is closing prices below solid technical support at the June high of $1,559.30. First resistance is seen at Monday's record high of $1,607.90 and then at $1,615.00. First support is seen at Monday's low of $1,591.40 and then at $1,590.00. Wyckoff's Market Rating: 9.5.

December silver futures prices closed near mid-range and hit a fresh 2.5-month high Monday. The silver bulls have the solid overall technical advantage and gained more power Monday by pushing prices above what was strong psychological resistance at $40.00. Bulls' next upside price objective is producing a close above solid technical resistance at $42.50 an ounce. The next downside price breakout objective for the bears is closing prices below solid technical support at $38.00. First resistance is seen at Monday's high of $40.75 and then at $41.00. Next support is seen at $40.00 and then at $39.50. Wyckoff's Market Rating: 8.0.

December N.Y. copper closed down 90 points 442.30 cents Monday. Prices closed near mid-range and did hit a fresh three-month high early on. Gains were limited by bearish "outside markets" that included a stronger U.S. dollar index and lower crude oil prices. The copper bulls still have the solid overall near-term technical advantage, but bulls are worried about the world's economies slowing down. Copper bulls' next upside breakout objective is pushing and closing prices above solid technical resistance at 450.00 cents. The next downside price breakout objective for the bears is closing prices below solid technical support at 425.00 cents. First resistance is seen at 445.00 cents and then at Monday's high of 446.75 cents. First support is seen at 440.00 cents and then at 437.50 cents. Wyckoff's Market Rating: 7.0.

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By Jim Wyckoff of Kitco News;

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