(Kitco News) -Comex December gold futures again ended the U.S. day session near unchanged price levels in quieter dealings. A stronger U.S. dollar index did limit the upside in the precious metals Thursday. Trading was quieter as the market place awaits the key U.S. economic report of the month--Friday's U.S. employment data. December gold last traded down $0.20 at $1,831.50 an ounce. Spot gold last traded up $5.30 an ounce at $1,830.00. December Comex silver last traded down $0.093 at $41.675 an ounce.

Traders are awaiting Friday morning's U.S. jobs report, which could be pivotal for many markets. A very weak non-farm payrolls growth figure would likely pressure in the U.S. stock market and boost gold prices. A stronger-than-expected growth figure would likely boost the U.S. stock indexes and put downside pressure on the precious metals. The average trade guess on the non-farm payrolls figure is a rise of 80,000 workers in August.

The U.S. dollar index traded higher and hit a fresh two-week Thursday. Short covering in a bear market was featured in the index. The greenback bears still have the overall near-term technical advantage. That's an underlying bullish factor for the precious metals. Fundamentally, notions of a fresh U.S. monetary stimulus package from the Federal Reserve in the coming weeks or few months will likely limit the upside for the dollar index.

Weaker U.S. stock indexes Thursday did limit the downside in precious metals. The U.S. and European stock markets will continue to be the key gauge of worldwide investor risk appetite in the market place. On days of better investor risk appetite (higher stocks) buying interest in gold will likely be limited. On days of shrinking investor risk appetite (lower stocks) gold will likely see more buying interest.

Crude oil prices traded near steady Thursday. Even though precious metals traders' focus has turned a bit away from crude, this market will continue to be a major "outside market" force for the precious metals.

The London P.M. gold fixing was $1,821.00 versus the previous P.M. fixing of $1,813.50.

Technically, December gold futures prices closed nearer the session high Thursday. Bulls' still have some upside momentum on their side and their next near-term upside technical objective is to produce a close above solid technical resistance at $1,850.00. Bears' next near-term downside price objective is closing prices below solid technical support at this week's low of $1,778.10. First resistance is seen at this week's high of $1,845.10 and then at $1,850.00. First support is seen at Thursday's low of $1,815.50 and then at $1,800.00. Wyckoff's Market Rating: 7.5.

December silver futures prices closed nearer the session high Thursday. The silver bulls have the solid overall near-term technical advantage. Prices are in a choppy, two-month-old uptrend on the daily bar chart. Bulls' next upside price objective is producing a close above strong technical resistance at the August high of $44.295 an ounce. The next downside price breakout objective for the bears is closing prices below solid technical support at last week's low of $38.81. First resistance is seen at this week's high of $42.095 and then at $42.50. Next support is seen at $41.50 and then at Thursday's low of $41.205. Wyckoff's Market Rating: 6.5.

December N.Y. copper closed down 535 points 415.10 cents Thursday. Prices closed nearer the session low and saw some profit-taking pressure from recent gains. Bulls still have some upside near-term technical momentum. Copper bulls have the overall near-term technical advantage. Copper bulls' next upside breakout objective is pushing and closing prices above solid technical resistance at 425.00 cents. The next downside price breakout objective for the bears is closing prices below solid technical support at 400.00 cents. First resistance is seen at 417.50 cents and then at 420.00 cents. First support is seen at Thursday's low of 412.65 cents and then at 410.00 cents. Wyckoff's Market Rating: 6.0.

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 contributing to Kitco News; jim@jimwyckoff.com

Editor’s Note:

Kitco News will provide readers with comprehensive print and video coverage of three-major precious metals market events in New York, Toronto and Montreal during the next two weeks.

First, Kitco News will supply live coverage on Wednesday, Sept. 14, of the CPM Platinum Group Metals Seminar in New York. That will be followed by the Toronto Resource Investment Conference September 15-16, and then the London Bullion Marketing Association meeting in Montreal September 18-20.  

The CPM Group's Platinum Metals Group Seminar Sept. 14 will showcase presentations from some of the leading analysts and investors in the PGM sector. Register to watch the CPM Platinum Group Metals Seminar Live (Free Registration): http://cpmevents.kitco.com/

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