(Kitco News) – Gold prices are modestly up in early U.S. trading Friday, supported on some safe-haven buying interest in a nervous trading environment heading into the weekend. December gold futures were last up $1.80 an ounce at $1,231.90. December Comex silver was last up $0.121 at $14.725 an ounce.
Don’t be surprised if trader and investor anxiety upticks as the trading session progresses Friday, heading into a very uncertain weekend. This is mainly due to pending results of an investigation into the disappearance of a Saudi journalist that could be a murder and could involve the Saudi Arabian government. The markets were jolted on Thursday when U.S. Secretary Mnuchin backed out of a high-level business conference being held in Saudi Arabia.
Also, the Euro currency has been rattled again this week by recurring trader concerns regarding Italy falling into line with European Union rules on country’s budgets. There is talk major credit rating agencies could downgrade Italy’s credit rating.
Global stock markets were mostly firmer overnight. China’s stock market rallied after the Chinese government pledged to keep its economy on track and expressed confidence in future growth. This comes after the Chinese stock market dropped to a multi-year low Thursday and the Chinese yuan dropped to a 21-month low against the U.S. dollar. U.S. stock indexes are pointed toward firmer openings when the New York day session begins, on modest corrective bounces after solid losses suffered on Thursday.
In overnight news, China’s gross domestic product grew by 6.5% in the third quarter, year-on-year. That was down from the 6.7% growth rate in the second quarter. A rate of 6.6% was expected for the third quarter. The third-quarter figure was the slowest economic growth pace for China in several years.
The key outside markets today find the U.S. dollar index slightly higher. Meantime, November Nymex crude oil prices are modestly up and are trading below $69.00 a barrel. Still, oil prices hit a four-week low on Thursday amid concerns about worldwide economic growth that could crimp demand for crude.
U.S. economic data due for release Friday is light and includes existing home sales.
Technically, gold bulls have the near-term technical advantage. This week’s pause is not bearish. Bulls’ next upside price objective is to produce a close in December futures above solid resistance at $1,250.00. Bears’ next near-term downside price breakout objective is pushing prices below solid technical support at $1,200.00. First resistance is seen at this week’s high of $1,236.90 and then at $1,240.00. First support is seen at this week’s low of $1,220.40 and then at $1,215.00. Wyckoff’s Market Rating: 6.0
December silver futures bears still have the overall near-term technical advantage. Silver bulls’ next upside price breakout objective is closing prices above solid technical resistance at $15.00 an ounce. The next downside price breakout objective for the bears is closing prices below solid support at the September low of $13.965. First resistance is seen at this week’s high of $14.88 and then at the October high of $14.95. Next support is seen at the overnight low of $14.58 and then at this week’s low of $14.47. Wyckoff’s Market Rating: 3.0.
By Jim Wyckoff
For Kitco News