(Kitco News) – Gold prices are moderately higher in early U.S. trading Monday, on safe-haven buying interest heading into the Christmas holiday. A lower U.S. dollar index today is also working in favor of the precious metals market bulls. February gold futures were last up $7.30 an ounce at $1,265.40. March Comex silver was up $0.043 at $14.745 an ounce.
There is marketplace unease over the U.S. government’s partial shutdown that could last a while. U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin contacted large U.S. banks over the weekend, which confirmed to Mnuchin they have liquidity, following large losses in the U.S. stock market last week that pushed stock indexes to new lows for the year. Mnuchin’s phone calls to the banks raised eyebrows and could have had the opposite effect of his intended efforts to calm the marketplace.
European and Asian stock markets were mostly lower overnight. U.S. stock indexes are pointed toward moderately lower openings when the New York day session begins. U.S. stock and financial markets close early today for the Christmas holiday. Most world markets are closed on Tuesday for Christmas Day.
The markets are also a bit concerned about turmoil in the Trump administration that has seen the president’s top staff resign, including his defense secretary.
The key outside markets today see the U.S. dollar index weaker. Meantime, Nymex crude oil prices are lower and hit a 17-month low of $44.93 a barrel overnight.
U.S. economic data due for release Monday is light and includes the Chicago Fed national activity index.
Technically, gold prices are very close to pushing above the key 200-day moving average for the first time since last May. The bulls have the firm overall near-term technical advantage. Prices are in a six-week-old uptrend on the daily bar chart. Bulls’ next upside price objective is to produce a close in February futures above solid resistance at the July high of $1,284.10. Bears’ next near-term downside price breakout objective is pushing prices below solid technical support at $1,236.50. First resistance is seen at last week’s high of $1,270.30 and then at $1,275.00. First support is seen at the overnight low of $1,260.00 and then at $1,250.00. Wyckoff’s Market Rating: 6.5.
March silver futures bears still have the overall near-term technical advantage. However, a choppy six-week-old uptrend is in place on the daily bar chart. Silver bulls’ next upside price breakout objective is closing prices above solid technical resistance at the October high of $15.055 an ounce. The next downside price breakout objective for the bears is closing prices below solid support at the November low of $13.985. First resistance is seen at last week’s high of $14.915 and then at $15.00. Next support is seen at last week’s low of $14.615 and then at $14.50. Wyckoff’s Market Rating: 3.5.
By Jim Wyckoff
For Kitco News