(Kitco News) – Gold prices are modestly higher in early morning U.S. trading Thursday, supported on some safe-haven buying interest on news overnight of another attack on ships in the Persian Gulf region. August gold futures were last up $2.80 an ounce at $1,339.60. July Comex silver prices were last up $0.037 at $14.79 an ounce.
The marketplace is a bit uneasy Thursday after reports more ships in the Persian Gulf area (this time in the Gulf of Oman) being attacked by smaller gunboats. U.S. Navy ships are reportedly now protecting some oil tankers in the region. Oil prices are solidly higher today on the news. Right now tensions in markets are not real high, but this situation could deteriorate quickly if Iran and the U.S. have a direct military confrontation.
European and Asian stock indexes were mostly firmer overnight. The U.S. stock indexes are also pointed toward modestly higher openings when the New York day session begins. Notions of more accommodative monetary policies from the world’s major central banks, amid generally very low inflationary pressures globally, are supporting world stock markets recently.
The key “outside markets” today see Nymex crude oil prices solidly higher and trading around $53.25 a barrel, on the Oman Gulf news. Still, worldwide supply and demand fundamentals for crude oil favor the bears. Meantime, the U.S. dollar index is near steady in early U.S. trading.
In other overnight news, Switzerland’s central bank held its monetary policy steady, but did signal rate cuts are possible at future central bank monetary policy meetings.
U.S. economic data due for release Thursday is light and includes the weekly jobless claims report, and import and export prices.
Technically, the gold bulls have the overall near-term technical advantage. Bulls’ next upside price objective is to produce a close in August futures above solid resistance at the June high of $1,352.70. Bears’ next near-term downside price breakout objective is pushing August futures prices below solid technical support at $1,300.00. First resistance is seen at today’s high of $1,342.70 and then at $1,350.00. First support is seen at today’s low of $1,335.90 and then at Wednesday’s low of $1,329.80. Wyckoff’s Market Rating: 6.5.
July 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 the June high of $15.15 an ounce. The next downside price breakout objective for the bears is closing prices below solid support at the May low of $14.265. First resistance is seen at Wednesday’s high of $14.86 and then at $15.00. Next support is seen this week’ low of $14.625 and then at last week’s low of $14.565. Wyckoff’s Market Rating: 3.0.
By Neils Christensen
For Kitco News