(Kitco News) – Gold and silver prices are modestly down in early U.S. trading Friday, following what the marketplace perceives to be a generally upbeat U.S. employment report—even though the key non-farm payrolls number came in slightly lower than expected. December gold futures were last down $3.50 an ounce at 1,510.30. December Comex silver prices were last down $0.166 at $17.515 an ounce.
The U.S. employment situation report for September from the Labor Department showed the key non-farm payrolls number at up 136,000. That was slightly below the consensus forecast of up 145,000. However, some other internals of the report were deemed as upbeat, including the overall unemployment rate at a 50-year low of 3.5%, which was lower than expected. Still, it would have taken a significantly stronger-than-expected jobs report today to sway traders and investors away from the general notion that another U.S. interest rate cut is coming from the Federal Reserve soon, following this week’s very poor U.S. and European manufacturing reports.
The U.S. stock market and U.S. dollar moved up from lower price levels overnight, following the employment report.
Asian and European stocks were mixed overnight. Mainland China markets were closed this week for a holiday. The wobbly U.S. stock market this week still has traders and investors nervous heading into the weekend.
Reports overnight said Hong Kong authorities have banned people from wearing masks in public, following recent violent protesting there. This new rule could further escalate the civil unrest in Hong Kong. This situation could quickly move to the front burner of the marketplace, especially if mainland China gets more deeply involved in the matter.
Nymex crude oil prices are up and trading around $53.00 a barrel. Oil prices are in a steep slide from the spike high scored in September.
Other U.S. economic data due for release Friday includes the international trade report. Several Federal Reserve officials are scheduled to speak today, including Chairman Jerome Powell.
Technically, the gold bulls have the overall near-term technical advantage and have stabilized the market late this week. Still, a four-week-old downtrend line is in place on the daily bar chart. Bulls’ next upside price objective is to produce a close in December futures above solid resistance at $1,543.30. Bears’ next near-term downside price breakout objective is pushing December futures prices below solid technical support at this week’s low of $1,465.00. First resistance is seen at the overnight high of $1,522.20 and then at this week’s high of $1,525.80. First support is seen at $1,500.00 and then at $1,490.00. Wyckoff’s Market Rating: 6.0
December silver futures bulls and bears are on a level overall near-term technical playing field. A four-week-old downtrend is still in place on the daily bar chart. Silver bulls’ next upside price breakout objective is closing prices above solid technical resistance at $18.00 an ounce. The next downside price breakout objective for the bears is closing prices below solid support at this week’s low of $16.94. First resistance is seen at the overnight high of $17.745 and then at this week’s high of $17.845. Next support is seen at the overnight low of $17.33 and then at Wednesday’s low of $17.24. Wyckoff’s Market Rating: 5.0.
By Jim Wyckoff
For Kitco News