Stay in the Know! Check out Kitco's Full Range of Mobile Apps to Keep You Connected

(Kitco News) - Comex April gold futures prices ended the U.S. day session modestly higher and near the middle of the day’s trading range Wednesday. Bargain hunters once again stepped in to buy the recent dip in prices. However, the afternoon FOMC statement from the U.S. Federal Reserve did give the U.S. dollar index a boost, which in turn dropped precious metals prices from their highs. April gold last traded up $6.40 at $1,724.00 an ounce. Spot gold was last quoted up $1.80 an ounce at $1,723.50.  March Comex silver last traded down $0.20 at $33.13 an ounce.

The latest statement from the Federal Open Market Committee of the U.S. Federal Reserve, was just a bit more hawkish on U.S. monetary policy, hinting that some pre-emptive monetary policy tightening could occur, or at least reduced accommodative Fed actions, in the next year and-a-half. However, the FOMC members were divided on those matters. Still, the U.S. dollar index rallied to its session high in the wake of the FOMC meeting minutes. Gold and silver prices, meantime, lost ground.

The U.S. dollar index was weaker most of the day Wednesday, before the FOMC-inspired modest rally. Nymex crude oil futures prices traded higher Wednesday, hitting a fresh four-week high overnight and have pushed back above the key $100-a-barrel level. The higher crude oil prices were a positive for the precious metals. Crude oil and the U.S. dollar index will remain the two key “outside markets” that will generally have at least some daily influence on gold and silver price moves.

The London P.M. gold fixing was $1,725.50 versus the previous P.M. fixing of $1,722.00.

Technically, April gold futures prices closed near mid-range Wednesday. Gold bulls still have the overall near-term technical advantage, but need to show more power soon to suggest a near-term price uptrend can be restarted. Bulls' next upside technical breakout objective is to produce a close above solid technical resistance at the February high of $1,765.90. Bears' next near-term downside price objective is closing prices below psychological support at $1,700.00. First resistance is seen at Wednesday’s high of $1,739.20 and then at $1,750.00. First support is seen at Wednesday’s low of $1,720.30 and then at last week’s low of $1,706.40. Wyckoff's Market Rating: 6.0.

March silver futures prices closed near the session low Wednesday and scored a mildly bearish “outside day” down on the daily bar chart. Silver bulls still have the overall near-term technical advantage. Prices have been trading sideways for three weeks. Bulls’ next upside price breakout objective is closing prices above solid technical resistance at the February high of $34.52 an ounce. The next downside price breakout objective for the bears is closing prices below solid technical support at $32.50. First resistance is seen at $33.50 and then at this week’s high of $34.035. Next support is seen at the February low of $32.985 and then at $32.50. Wyckoff's Market Rating: 6.0.

March N.Y. copper closed down 120 points 380.25 cents Wednesday. Prices closed nearer the session low and saw more profit taking from recent gains. The key outside markets mostly bullish for copper during the session--the U.S. dollar index was steady weaker and crude oil and prices were higher. Copper bulls still have the overall near-term technical advantage. Prices are in a two-month-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 375.00 cents. First resistance is seen at 385.00 cents and then at Wednesday’s high of 387.25 cents. First support is seen at this week’s low of 378.40 cents and then at the February low of 376.30 cents. Wyckoff's Market Rating: 6.5.

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

<<Back to more Kitco exclusive news

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and may not reflect those of Kitco Metals Inc. The author has made every effort to ensure accuracy of information provided; however, neither Kitco Metals Inc. nor the author can guarantee such accuracy. This article is strictly for informational purposes only. It is not a solicitation to make any exchange in precious metal products, commodities, securities or other financial instruments. Kitco Metals Inc. and the author of this article do not accept culpability for losses and/ or damages arising from the use of this publication