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(Kitco News) – Gold prices were lower in U.S. trading on Thursday afternoon and silver was well below its daily high. Profits from short-term futures traders are showing in both metals after gold hit a nine-month high and silver hit a four-week high overnight. A bounce in the US dollar index today after taking a hit on Wednesday is also a daily foreign market element for precious metals. Still, gold and silver are firmly in near-term technical control. April gold was last traded down $10.10 at $1,932.70, while March silver was up $0.036 at $23.65.
Thursday’s market was still digesting Wednesday afternoon’s FOMC statement and Fed Chairman Jerome Powell’s press conference. The Fed, as expected, raised the Fed funds rate by 0.25%. However, Powell’s comments at the press conference led the market to believe that the Fed is close to ending its rate hike streak. Powell said inflation has eased but needs to pull back further. He mentioned the word “disinflation” that characterizes the current economic conditions of the United States. Most agreed that in the final assessment, Powell was not as hawkish as he had been in recent FOMC press conferences, leaving the door open for a Fed “pivot” sooner rather than later.
Regular monetary policy meetings of the European Central Bank and the Bank of England were held today, where both central banks increased their key interest rates by 0.5%. The actions were not unexpected.
The focus now turns to Friday morning’s January US employment report from the Labor Department. The core non-farm payrolls number is expected to be 187,000 jobs, after an increase of 223,000 in the December report.
The day saw the main US dollar index in foreign markets higher, but it hit a nine-month low overnight. Nymex crude oil futures prices are slightly firmer, trading around $76.50 a barrel. Meanwhile, the yield on the 10-year US Treasury note currently stands at 3.365%.
Technically, April gold futures prices hit a nine-month high early today and then reversed course to hit an “off day” low on the daily bar chart. Bulls still have a solid overall near-term technical advantage. There is a three-month uptrend on the daily bar chart. Bulls’ next upside price target is a close above solid resistance at $2,000.00. The Bears’ next near-term downside target is futures prices below solid technical support at $1,900.00. First resistance is seen at $1,950.00, followed by today’s high at $1,975.20. First support is seen at $1,925.00, followed by this week’s low at $1,915.50. Wyckoff’s market rating: 8.0
March silver futures hit a four-week high earlier today. Silver bulls have an overall near-term technical advantage. However, trading has been choppy and higher. The silver bulls’ next upside price target is a close above solid technical resistance at the January high of $24,775. The next downside price target for the bears is closing prices below the solid support at $22.00. First resistance is seen at $24.00, followed by last week’s high of $24.415. The next support is this week’s low of $23.05 and then the January low of $22,845. Wyckoff’s market rating: 6.5.
March NY copper fell 35 points to close at 410.75 cents today. Prices closed near session lows and hit three-week lows today. Copper bulls have the firm’s overall near-term technical advantage but are weakening slightly. A four-month uptrend has stopped on the daily bar chart. The next upside price target for copper bulls is to push and close above solid technical resistance at the January high of 435.50 cents. The next lower price target for the bears is closing prices below solid technical support at 395.00 cents. First resistance is seen at 420.00 cents, followed by this week’s high of 424.90 cents. First support is seen at this week’s low of 410.25 cents, followed by 405.00 cents. Wyckoff’s market rating: 7.0.
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