(Kitco News) – Gold prices are moderately up in early-afternoon trading Tuesday and scored another seven-month high. Gold and silver markets are being boosted by safe-haven demand and chart-based buying interest. There are several elements at work this week which are causing anxiety among traders and investors. February gold futures were last up $5.10 an ounce at $1,308.20. March Comex silver hit a three-week high and was last up $0.08 at $15.845 an ounce.
The news elements at work early this week, which are making traders and investors a bit nervous, include:
Lower U.S. stock markets this week. Worries about world economic growth—especially from China—and some weak U.S. corporate earnings reports recently are once again spooking world stock markets.
The U.S.-China trade war that has been playing out for months finds high-level officials from both countries meeting in Washington, D.C, on Wednesday and Thursday. There is no consensus on any progress that may or may not be made at this week’s talks, but stock and financial market traders are this week leaning to the negative side of any successful outcome. The U.S. government this week has filed new charges against the high-tech company from China, Huawei. Comments from U.S. and Chinese officials have been all over the map recently.
The political situation in Venezuela is still very fluid at present, with the potential for civil violence. The U.S. on Monday slapped economic sanctions on the country, which is a major oil producer.
The Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee (FOMC) meets on Tuesday morning through Wednesday at midday, with a statement on monetary policy on Wednesday afternoon. No change in monetary policy is expected. Markets could become active and volatile following the results of the meeting, which includes a press conference by Fed Chairman Jerome Powell. Powell is getting a reputation for putting his foot in his mouth while making comments to the press or at speeches.
The U.K. parliament on Tuesday votes on the “Plan B” Brexit initiative from Prime Minister Theresa May. May’s last Brexit plan was voted down a few weeks ago and May survived a no-confidence vote by Parliament.
The outside markets today see the U.S. dollar index trading slightly higher. Meantime, Nymex crude oil prices are higher and trading around $53.50 a barrel.
Technically, February gold futures bulls have the firm overall near-term technical advantage and have gained more power this week. A 2.5-month-old price uptrend is in place on the daily bar chart. Gold bulls’ next upside near-term price breakout objective is to produce a close above solid technical resistance at $1,330.00. Bears’ next near-term downside price breakout objective is pushing prices below solid technical support at $1,275.00. First resistance is seen at today’s high of $1,310.60 and then at $1,320.00. First support is seen at $1,300.00 and then at this week’s low of $1,296.50. Wyckoff’s Market Rating: 7.0
March silver futures prices closed near mid-range and closed at a six-month high close today. The silver bulls have the overall near-term technical advantage and have regained upside momentum. Silver bulls’ next upside price breakout objective is closing prices above solid technical resistance at the January high of $15.955 an ounce. The next downside price breakout objective for the bears is closing prices below solid support at the January low of $15.195. First resistance is seen at $15.955 and then at $16.00. Next support is seen at today’s low of $15.725 and then at this week’s low of $15.61. Wyckoff’s Market Rating: 6.5.
March N.Y. copper closed up 410 points at 272.20 cents today. Prices closed nearer the session high on short covering and bargain hunting. The copper bears have the overall near-term technical advantage. However, prices have been trending higher for four weeks. Copper bulls’ next upside price objective is pushing and closing prices above solid technical resistance at 280.00 cents. The next downside price objective for the bears is closing prices below solid technical support at the January low of 254.30 cents. First resistance is seen at the January high of 273.40 cents and then at 275.00 cents. First support is seen at 2.7000 cents and then at this week’s low of 267.60 cents. Wyckoff’s Market Rating: 3.5.
By Jim Wyckoff
For Kitco News