(Kitco News) – Gold and silver prices are firmer in early U.S. trading Wednesday and getting mild support from a weaker U.S. dollar index and a slight down-tick in U.S. Treasury yields. Modestly higher crude oil prices are also a bullish outside-market element for the metals markets. February gold was last up $8.50 at $2,041.50. March silver was last up $0.089 at $23.18.
Asian and European stock markets were mixed overnight. U.S. stock index futures are set to open mixed when the New York day session begins. Trading activity is quieter at mid-week amid no major new fundamental news.
The U.S. data points of the week will be the December consumer price index report on Thursday and the December producer price index report on Friday. U.S. inflation has cooled in recent months, which has allowed the Federal Reserve to back off on its tighter monetary policy. The CPI report is seen up 3.3%, year-on-year versus a rise of 3.1% in the November report.
The key outside markets today see the U.S. dollar index a bit weaker. Nymex crude oil prices are slightly up and trading around $72.50 a barrel. Meantime, the yield on the benchmark U.S. Treasury 10-year note is presently fetching 3.994%.
U.S. economic data due out Wednesday includes the weekly MBA mortgage applications survey, monthly wholesale trade and the weekly DOE liquid energy stocks report.
Technically, the gold futures bulls still have the overall near-term technical advantage but are fading. Prices are still in a three-month-old uptrend on the daily bar chart. Bulls’ next upside price objective is to produce a close in March futures above solid resistance at $2,100.00. Bears’ next near-term downside price objective is pushing futures prices below solid technical support at $2,000.00. First resistance is seen at $2,050.00 and then at this week’s high of $2,053.30. First support is seen at the overnight low of $2,029.20 and then at this week’s low of $2,022.70. Wyckoff’s Market Rating: 6.5.
The silver bears have the overall near-term technical advantage. Prices are in a choppy, four-week-old downtrend on the daily bar chart. Silver bulls’ next upside price objective is closing March futures prices above solid technical resistance at $25.00. The next downside price objective for the bears is closing prices below solid support at the November low of $22.26. First resistance is seen at this week’s high of $23.565 and then at last Friday’s high of $23.715. Next support is seen at last week’s low of $22.88 and then at the December low of $22.785. Wyckoff’s Market Rating: 4.0.
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