(Kitco News) – Gold prices are just slightly higher in midday U.S. trading Tuesday. Silver prices are slightly lower. Some modest safe-haven demand was featured today, but solid gains in the U.S. dollar index and lower crude oil prices have squelched buyer interest in the metals. February gold was last up $2.30 at $2,073.90. March silver was last up $0.021 at $24.075.
U.S. stock index futures are lower at midday as risk appetite in the marketplace is less robust on this first trading day of 2024. Reports say merchant ships in the Red Sea are still coming under attack from Iranian-backed Houthi rebels. The U.S. Navy sunk three Houthi boats on Sunday, killing its occupants. That has prompted some mild safe-haven demand for gold and silver.
In other news, there was more weak economic data coming out of China, as its official purchasing managers index (PMI) came in at 49.0 in December from 49.4 in November. The services sector PMI was unchanged at 49.3 in December. Readings below 50.0 suggest contraction in the sector. This report was also a negative for the metals markets, as China is a major consumer of metals.
The key outside markets today see the U.S. dollar index strongly higher on a rebound after hitting a five-month low last week. The USDX is still in a downtrend, however. Nymex crude oil prices are lower, still trending down and trading around $70.75 a barrel. The yield on the benchmark U.S. Treasury 10-year note is presently fetching 3.929%.
U.S. economic data due out Tuesday includes the U.S. manufacturing purchasing managers index (PMI), the global manufacturing PMI and construction spending.
Technically, February gold futures bulls have the solid overall near-term technical advantage. Prices are in a three-month-old uptrend on the daily bar chart. Bulls’ next upside price objective is to produce a close above solid resistance at the contract high of $2,152.30. Bears’ next near-term downside price objective is pushing futures prices below solid technical support at $2,000.00. First resistance is seen at today’s high of $2,088.10 and then at $2,100.00. First support is seen at today’s low of $2,064.30 and then at $2,058.20. Wyckoff’s Market Rating: 7.5.
March silver futures bulls have the overall near-term technical advantage. Prices are in a three-month-old uptrend on the daily bar chart. Silver bulls’ next upside price objective is closing prices above solid technical resistance at $26.00. The next downside price objective for the bears is closing prices below solid support at the December low of $22.785. First resistance is seen at today’s high of $24.335 and then at $24.50. Next
support is seen at last week’s low of $23.76 and then at $23.50. Wyckoff’s Market Rating: 6.0.
March N.Y. copper closed down 120 points at 387.85 cents today. Prices closed nearer the session low today. The copper bulls have the overall near-term technical advantage. Prices are in a choppy, 2.5-month-old uptrend on the daily bar chart. Copper bulls’ next upside price objective is pushing and closing prices above solid technical resistance at the July high of 404.45 cents. The next downside price objective for the bears is closing prices below solid technical support at the December low of 372.90 cents. First resistance is seen at today’s high of 391.20 cents and then at the December high of 397.40 cents. First support is seen at today’s low of 386.10 cents and then at 382.00 cents. Wyckoff’s Market Rating: 6.5.
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