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(Kitco News) - Comex gold and silver futures prices ended moderately lower and nearer the daily lows Tuesday. Some profit-taking pressure set in after recent gains, and then some upbeat comments from President Obama regarding the U.S. debt-limit impasse did work to pressure the precious metals. August gold futures hit another fresh all-time record high of $1,610.70 in overnight trading. The precious metals markets remain well-supported from an overall fundamental perspective, and the technical postures of gold and silver have also recently turned more near-term bullish. August gold last traded down $10.80 at $1,591.80 an ounce. Spot gold last traded down $4.80 an ounce at $1,600.75. December Comex silver last traded down $0.676 at $39.69 an ounce.

Precious metals prices fell to fresh daily lows in afternoon trading when President Obama made a statement on television that he is now more confident Democrats and Republicans can come together on the U.S. debt-ceiling issue. There were several U.S. lawmakers who said an apparent agreement among Senate Democrats and Republicans was the most significant move forward since the serious debating among lawmakers began a few weeks ago.

The U.S. stock market rallied on Obama's remarks and it appears at least for the moment that risk appetite in the market place has increased. That also took some of the wind out of the precious metals bulls' sails.

A surprisingly strong U.S. housing starts report on Tuesday also boosted investor confidence and supported U.S. stock market gains, which also took away some safe-haven demand for the precious metals.

The U.S. dollar index traded lower Tuesday, as trading once again turns choppy in the index. The weaker dollar index did limit selling pressure in the precious metals.

Crude oil prices traded sharply higher Tuesday, which also limited selling pressure in the precious metals. Recent choppy and sideways price action in the crude oil market also suggests more of the same in the near term.

As we move into the last half of the summer in the western world, markets do tend to become calmer and volumes are lighter as traders and investors take family vacations and tend to focus less on the markets.

The London P.M. gold fixing was $1,601.00 versus the previous P.M. fixing of $1,599.00.

Technically, August gold futures prices closed near the session low Tuesday. Gold bulls still have the strong overall near-term technical advantage. There are still no early clues to suggest a market top is close at hand. Bulls' next near-term upside technical objective is to produce a close above 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 $1,600.00 and then at Tuesday's record high of $1,610.70. First support is seen at $1,580.00 and then at $1,575.00. Wyckoff's Market Rating: 8.0.

December silver futures prices closed near the session low after hitting a fresh 2.5-month high early on. The silver bulls still have the solid overall technical advantage. 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 today's high of $40.90 and then at $41.50. Next support is seen at $39.50 and then at this week's low of $39.32. Wyckoff's Market Rating: 7.5.

December N.Y. copper closed up 675 points 449.00 cents Tuesday. Prices closed nearer the session high and hit another fresh three-month high. A strong U.S. housing starts report Tuesday boosted the copper bulls. The key "outside markets" were also bullish for copper today as the U.S. dollar index was lower while crude oil prices were sharply higher. The copper bulls have the solid overall near-term technical advantage. Copper bulls' next upside breakout objective is pushing and closing prices above solid technical resistance at the April high of 457.00 cents. The next downside price breakout objective for the bears is closing prices below solid technical support at 433.05 cents. First resistance is seen at Tuesday's high of 451.20 cents and then at 452.50 cents. First support is seen at 447.00 cents and then at 445.00 cents. Wyckoff's Market Rating: 7.5.

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By Jim Wyckoff of Kitco News; jwyckoff@kitco.com

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