(Kitco News) – Gold prices are modestly higher in early U.S. trading Friday and little changed from levels seen just before an important U.S. economic report was released. December gold futures were last up $2.80 an ounce at $1,204.30. December Comex silver was last up $0.06 at $14.645 an ounce.
This morning’s U.S. Labor Department Employment Situation Report for September showed the key non-farm payrolls number come in up 134,000, which was a miss to the downside as the consensus forecast was up 180,000. However, the July and August reports revised up significantly the non-farm jobs numbers by a total of 87,000. Inclement weather—namely hurricanes–in the reporting period is also blamed for the lower jobs reading. The September unemployment rate fell to 3.7%–the lowest level since 1969. The U.S. wage-growth figure is also closely watched, and it came in at 2.8% versus 2.9% in the August report.
World stock markets were mostly lower overnight, still pressured by rising world government bond yields. U.S. stock indexes are pointed toward slightly higher openings when the New York day session begins. Chinese markets have been closed all week for a public holiday.
The U.S. Treasury 10-year note yield rose to a seven-year high above 3.20% this week. Strong U.S. economic data recently is driving U.S. bond and note prices lower.
The key outside markets today find the U.S. dollar index near steady. Meantime, November Nymex crude oil prices are firmer and trading just below $75.00 a barrel.
Other U.S. economic data due for release Friday includes the international trade report and consumer credit.
Technically, gold bears have the overall near-term technical advantage. However, prices are back in the middle of a trading range, which again suggests the metal has put in a market bottom. Gold bulls’ next upside near-term price breakout objective is to produce a close in December futures above solid resistance at $1,220.70. Bears’ next near-term downside price breakout objective is pushing prices below solid technical support at the August low of $1,167.10. First resistance is seen at this week’s high of $1,212.30 and then at $1,218.00. First support is seen at $1,200.00 and then at this week’s low of $1,188.10. Wyckoff’s Market Rating: 3.0
December silver futures bears have the overall near-term technical advantage, but recent price action suggests a market bottom is in place. 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 $13.80 and then at this week’s high of $14.95. Next support is seen at $14.50 and then at this week’s low of $14.395. Wyckoff’s Market Rating: 3.5.
By Jim Wyckoff
For Kitco News