(Kitco News) – Gold prices are moderately down and silver prices are sharply lower in early U.S. trading Friday, pressured by a firmer U.S. dollar index on and sharply lower crude oil prices. December gold futures were last down $5.60 an ounce at $1,222.40. December Comex silver was last down $0.257 at $14.245 an ounce.
Nymex crude oil futures prices are sharply lower today and hit 13-month low of $51.73 a barrel. The steep drop in oil prices has world stock market traders uneasy, despite the fact lower retail gasoline prices will boost consumer spending, especially in the U.S.
The other key outside markets today find the U.S. dollar index trading higher and not far below this month’s 1.5-year high.
European stock markets were mixed overnight, while Asian equities were mostly down. Japan’s markets were closed for a public holiday. U.S. stock indexes are pointed lower at the New York opening. Recent losses have wiped out this year’s gains in the U.S. stock indexes. It appears the U.S. stock indexes have put in major market tops. Stronger selling pressure in the U.S. equities today would likely prompt some safe-haven buying interest in the gold and silver markets.
The U.S.-China trade war is not improving and could be escalating. Reports say the U.S. is talking to its allies regarding boycotting a Chinese technology firm due to cybersecurity risks. This news followed the mid-week report from the U.S. Trade Representative that accused China of continued theft of U.S. technology and espionage. U.S. President Trump and Chinese President Xi are scheduled to meet face-to-face in Argentina next week.
History shows today is likely to see a very quiet trading session in the U.S., following the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday. Many U.S. markets close early today. Friday is the “Black Friday” U.S. sale affair that finds many traders and investors out for the day, shopping for Christmas gift deals.
U.S. economic data due for release Friday is light and includes the U.S. flash services and manufacturing PMIs.
Technically, gold bears have the overall near-term technical advantage. Bulls’ next upside price objective is to produce a close in December futures above solid resistance at the November high of $1,239.30. Bears’ next near-term downside price breakout objective is pushing prices below solid technical support at the September low of $1,184.30. First resistance is seen at this week’s high of $1,230.90 and then at the November high of $1,239.30. First support is seen at this week’s low of $1,218.50 and then at $1,213.70. Wyckoff’s Market Rating: 3.5
December silver futures bears still have the solid overall near-term technical advantage. Silver bulls’ next upside price breakout objective is closing prices above solid technical resistance at $14.50 an ounce. The next downside price breakout objective for the bears is closing prices below solid support at $13.50. First resistance is seen at this week’s high of $14.54 and then at $14.775. Next support is seen at this week’s low of $14.205 and then at $14.00. Wyckoff’s Market Rating: 2.0.
By Jim Wyckoff
For Kitco News