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(Kitco News) - Comex April gold futures prices ended the U.S. day session modestly higher Tuesday, with prices hitting a fresh seven-week high and closing at a technically bullish monthly high close. The bulls enjoyed a very good month of January. The bulls still have good upside near-term technical momentum on their side. April gold last traded up $3.80 at $1,738.10 an ounce. Spot gold was last quoted up $5.00 an ounce at $1,735.75.  March Comex silver last traded down $0.412 at $33.115 an ounce.

The U.S. dollar index moved higher as the session progressed Tuesday, after starting out weaker and hitting a fresh seven-week low overnight. The dollar index bears still have some downside near-term technical momentum. The weaker U.S. dollar index recently has been gold-market-bullish.

Crude oil prices traded weaker Tuesday afternoon and are trading below $100.00 a barrel. Crude oil bulls do still have the overall near-term technical advantage, but prices do encounter stiff overhead resistance just above $100.00. Crude and the dollar index are the two key “outside markets” that will continue to have a daily influence on gold and silver prices.

There were some fresh developments coming out of the European Union debt crisis Tuesday. Reports said Greece private sector and government talks on debt restructuring have made some progress but still have not come to a complete resolution. The Greek prime minister said he looks for an agreement to be sealed this week. Monday’s EU leaders’ summit meeting was also deemed successful, as the group pledged closer fiscal ties and better debt-limit enforcement policies among EU countries. That gave the market place a “risk on” mentality early Tuesday, but that wore off as the trading session progressed. The EU debt crisis is still a major underlying bullish factor for the gold market, due to its safe-haven asset status.

The London P.M. gold fixing was $1,744.00 versus the previous P.M. fixing of $1,729.00.

Technically, April gold futures prices closed near mid-range Tuesday, hit a fresh seven-week high and closed at a bullish monthly high close. Gold bulls have the solid overall near-term technical advantage and still have upside near-term technical momentum. A steep four-week-old uptrend is in place on the daily bar chart. Bulls' next upside technical breakout objective is to produce a close above solid technical resistance at the December high of $1,769.70. Bears' next near-term downside price objective is closing prices below chart trend-line support at $1,680.00. First resistance is seen at Tuesday’s high of $1,750.60 and then at $1,760.00. First support is seen at Tuesday’s low of $1,727.00 and then at this week’s low of $1,718.80. Wyckoff's Market Rating: 7.5.

March silver futures prices closed nearer the session low Tuesday and scored another bearish “outside day” down on the daily bar chart after scoring a fresh 10-week high early on. Profit taking was featured and no significant chart damage occurred. Silver bulls still have the overall near-term technical advantage. A four-week-old uptrend is in place on the daily bar chart. Bulls’ next upside price breakout objective is closing prices above solid technical resistance at the October high of $35.68 an ounce. The next downside price breakout objective for the bears is closing prices below solid technical support at last week’s low of $31.525. First resistance is seen at $33.50 and then at $34.00. Next support is seen at Tuesday’s low of $32.93 and then at $32.50. Wyckoff's Market Rating: 6.0.

March N.Y. copper closed down 345 points 370.20 cents Tuesday. Prices closed nearer the session low and saw more profit-taking pressure after hitting a 4.5-month high on Friday. Copper bulls still have the near-term technical advantage. Prices are in a six-week-old uptrend on the daily bar chart. Copper bulls' next upside breakout objective is pushing and closing prices above major psychological resistance at 400.00 cents. The next downside price breakout objective for the bears is closing prices below solid technical support at 367.50 cents. First resistance is seen at 385.00 cents and then at 390.00 cents. First support is seen at Tuesday’s low of 376.50 cents and then at 375.00 cents. Wyckoff's Market Rating: 6.5.

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By Jim Wyckoff contributing to Kitco News; jim@jimwyckoff.com

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