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(Kitco News) - Comex gold and silver futures prices closed the U.S. day session weaker Wednesday, on mild profit-taking pressure from recent gains. A rebound in the U.S. dollar index and solidly lower crude oil prices Wednesday were bearish "outside market" forces for the precious metals. August gold did notch another fresh all-time record high of $1,628.80 earlier Wednesday. August gold last traded down $1.30 at $1,615.50 an ounce. Spot gold last traded down $4.90 an ounce at $1,615.50. December Comex silver last traded down $0.373 at $40.35 an ounce.

A profit-taking pullback in the gold market, following recent gains, is not surprising nor is it unhealthy from the bulls' perspective.

The U.S. dollar index traded solidly higher Wednesday, on short covering in a bear market after hitting a fresh 2.5-month low overnight. The dollar index bears still have the solid overall technical advantage. However, it is near present price levels in the dollar index that have put in historical market lows.

Crude oil prices traded solidly lower Wednesday on some profit taking from recent gains, on some bearish U.S. economic data released Wednesday and on a bearish weekly DOE crude oil stocks figure. If crude oil can push above major psychological resistance at $100.00 a barrel that would be a bullish factor for the precious metals. The near-term price trend in crude oil futures remains up.

Despite media hype regarding the U.S. debt limit wrangling in Congress, most traders and investors reckon a debt-limit-hike agreement will be reached before the U.S. government defaults on its payments. The generally stable tenor of the market place worldwide is strong evidence that the present political posturing between Democrats and Republicans is just that, and that a deal will get done before August 2. It's my bias that the market place, including gold and silver, is looking beyond the circus in Washington, D.C.

The London P.M. gold fixing was $1,625.00 versus the previous P.M. fixing of $1,612.75.

Technically, August gold futures prices closed nearer the session low. Gold bulls still have the strong overall near-term technical advantage. Prices are in a six-month-old uptrend on the daily bar chart and in a 10-year-old uptrend on the monthly chart. Bulls' next near-term upside technical objective is to produce a close above solid resistance at $1,650.00. Bears' next near-term downside price objective is closing prices below solid technical support at last week's low of $1,581.10. First resistance is seen at the record high of $1,628.80 and then at $1,635.00. First support is seen at Wednesday's low of $1,608.90 and then at this week's low of $1,603.80. Wyckoff's Market Rating: 8.0.

December silver futures prices closed nearer the session low Wednesday after hitting a fresh 11-week 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 last week's low of $38.26. First resistance is seen at $41.00 and then at Wednesday's high of $41.47. Next support is seen at this week's low of $39.91 and then at $39.50. Wyckoff's Market Rating: 7.0.

December N.Y. copper closed down 320 points 446.60 cents Wednesday. Prices closed nearer the session low. The key "outside markets" were bearish for copper Wednesday, as the U.S. dollar index was sharply higher while crude oil prices were sharply lower. The copper bulls still have the solid overall near-term technical advantage. Copper bulls' next upside breakout objective is pushing and closing prices above solid technical resistance at last week's high of 451.20 cents. The next downside price breakout objective for the bears is closing prices below solid technical support at last week's low of 438.75 cents. First resistance is seen at 451.20 cents and then at 452.50 cents. First support is seen at Wednesday's low of 444.45 cents and then at 442.50 cents. Wyckoff's Market Rating: 7.0.

Follow me on Twitter! If you want daily, or nightly, up-to-the-second market analysis on gold and silver price action, then follow me on Twitter. It's free, too. My account is @jimwyckoff .

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

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