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(Kitco News) - Comex gold futures prices ended the U.S. day session sharply higher and set another new all-time record high of $1,647.80, basis December futures. Strong safe-haven investor demand amid several market place worries continues to boost the precious metals markets, and especially gold. It did not take traders and investors long to look past the U.S. debt limit drama that has drawn to at least a temporary close. December gold last traded up $24.20 at $1,645.90 an ounce. Spot gold last traded up $23.30 an ounce at $1,644.00. December Comex silver last traded up $0.906 at $40.24 an ounce.

Not surprisingly, the market place has moved on to fresh worries regarding a potential U.S. debt downgrade by ratings agencies, the ongoing European Union debt crisis, and a worldwide economic slowdown. Gold will continue to see safe-haven investment demand amid the keener uncertainty and anxiety in the market place. Reports overnight said South Korea's central bank bought 25 tons of gold, while Greece's central bank added 1,000 ounces to its reserves. When central banks start stocking up on more gold, the gold bulls reckon their own positive stance on the metal remains on very solid footing.

The U.S. dollar index traded slightly higher Tuesday, on its own safe-haven buying demand and on short covering. Gold and the dollar index can move in tandem during times of higher market place anxiety. The dollar index bears still have the overall near-term technical advantage. However, it's near present price levels in the dollar index that historical lows have been put in place.

Crude oil prices traded lower Tuesday as the bulls are fading amid the world economic slowdown worries. Crude will continue to be a major "outside market" force for the precious metals. If crude oil prices continue to slump that would likely be a bearish weight on the precious metals.

The London P.M. gold fixing was $1,637.75 versus the previous P.M. fixing of $1,623.00.

Technically, December gold futures prices closed near the session high Tuesday. The path of least resistance remains sideways to higher as buying the dips has proven beneficial for quite some time now. There are no early clues to suggest a market top is close at hand. Gold bulls 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 $1,700.00. Bears' next near-term downside price objective is closing prices below psychological support at $1,600.00. First resistance is seen at Tuesday's record high of $1,647.80 and then at $1,650.00. First support is seen at $1,637.50 and then at $1,625.00. Wyckoff's Market Rating: 9.0.

December silver futures prices closed nearer the session high Tuesday and saw spillover buying support from the strong gains in gold. The silver bulls have the overall technical advantage. Bulls' next upside price objective is producing a close above solid technical resistance at last week's high of $41.47 an ounce. The next downside price breakout objective for the bears is closing prices below solid technical support at $38.26. First resistance is seen at Tuesday's high of $40.41 and then at $41.00. Next support is seen at $40.00 and then at $39.50. Wyckoff's Market Rating: 6.5.

December N.Y. copper closed down 155 points 441.65 cents Tuesday. Prices closed near mid-range. The copper bulls still have the overall near-term technical advantage but did fade Monday. Copper bulls' next upside breakout objective is pushing and closing prices above solid technical resistance at this week's high of 455.00 cents. The next downside price breakout objective for the bears is closing prices below solid technical support at 438.75 cents. First resistance is seen at Tuesday's high of 444.30 cents and then at 446.65 cents. First support is seen at 440.00 cents and then at 438.75 cents. Wyckoff's Market Rating: 7.0.

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

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