(Kitco News) – Gold and silver prices are down a bit in early U.S. trading Monday. Both metals have seen their near-term chart postures deteriorate recently, especially in silver. That’s inviting some fresh technical selling. Gold and silver bulls are hoping for some friendlier fundamental news with this week’s batch of important economic data. February gold was last down $4.40 at $2,010.10. March silver was last down $0.041 at $23.235.

U.S. stock indexes are headed for slightly lower openings when the New York day session begins. It’s a quieter start to the trading week, but at mid-week the Federal Reserve will announce its latest monetary policy meeting (FOMC) results. Key U.S. inflation data is also due out this week. The European Central Bank holds its regular monetary policy meeting Thursday.

In overnight news, China reported its November consumer price index down 0.5%, year-on-year. Food prices fell 4.2% in the same period. So far this year, China’s CPI is up 0.3%. The China numbers are another sign that global inflation is cooling off.

Traders this week will keep a closer eye on big U.S. Treasury bond and note auctions on Monday and Tuesday. The U.S. government will sell over $20 trillion of its debt this year. Some market watchers wonder how much longer the U.S. can keep selling more and more of its debt to the marketplace, without serious disruption.

Nymex crude oil prices are weaker and trading around $70.50 a barrel. The yield on the benchmark U.S. Treasury 10-year note is presently fetching 4.26%.

U.S. economic data due for release Monday is light and includes the employment trends index. The data pace picks up speed Tuesday, with the consumer price index report due out and the beginning of the two-day FOMC meeting of the Federal Reserve.

Live 24 hours gold chart [Kitco Inc.]

Technically, the gold futures bulls still have the overall near-term technical advantage but have faded recently to suggest a near-term market top is in place. Prices are still in a two-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 the overnight high of $2,023.70 and then at the October high of $2,039.70. First support is seen at the overnight low of $2,006.20 and then at $2,000.00. Wyckoff’s Market Rating: 6.0

Live 24 hours silver chart [ Kitco Inc. ]

The silver bulls have lost their overall near-term technical advantage. A two-month-old uptrend on the daily bar chart has been at least temporarily negated. 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 $23.50 and then at $24.00. Next support is seen at $23.00 and then at $22.75. Wyckoff’s Market Rating: 5.0.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and may not reflect those of Kitco Metals Inc. The author has made every effort to ensure accuracy of information provided; however, neither Kitco Metals Inc. nor the author can guarantee such accuracy. This article is strictly for informational purposes only. It is not a solicitation to make any exchange in commodities, securities or other financial instruments. Kitco Metals Inc. and the author of this article do not accept culpability for losses and/ or damages arising from the use of this publication.

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