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(Kitco News) - Comex February gold futures prices are trading near steady levels in tentative dealings Thursday morning. Once again, the market place is held hostage by pending developments coming out of the European Union. In fact, most markets are not straying far from unchanged Thursday morning. February gold last traded up $2.30 at $1,747.10 an ounce. Spot gold last traded down $0.30 an ounce at $1,743.25. March Comex silver last traded up $0.208 at $32.835 an ounce.

The market place is still looking to the ongoing European Union debt crisis. There is also a European Central Bank meeting taking place Thursday, in which the ECB is expected to reduce its key interest rate. There is also an EU summit meeting Thursday and Friday, in which some EU leaders have pledged will take serious steps to get the EU debt crisis under control. The market place has heard such rhetoric many times before. Talk in the market place is that Germany is dragging its feet on any firm decisions coming out of the latest meetings. Still, the general tenor of the market place, regarding the EU situation, is a bit calmer this week than in recent weeks. More and more traders and investors are reckoning the worst may now be past regarding the EU debt crisis.

The U.S. dollar index is slightly lower Thursday morning and that's a slight positive factor for the precious metals. However, the dollar index bulls still have the overall near-term technical advantage. Crude oil prices are trading slightly higher Wednesday morning, which is also a slight positive outside market factor for metals today.

U.S. economic data due for release Thursday includes the weekly jobless claims report and monthly wholesale trade data.

The London A.M. gold fixing was $1,739.00 versus the previous P.M. fixing of $1,735.50.

Technically, February gold futures bulls still have the overall near-term technical advantage. A 10-week-old uptrend is still in place on the daily bar chart. Bulls' next upside technical breakout objective is to produce a close above solid technical resistance at last week's high of $1,767.10. Bears' next near-term downside price objective is closing prices below psychological support at $1,700.00. First resistance is seen at this week's high of $1,758.80 and then at $1,767.10. First support is seen at the overnight low of $1,738.60 and then at $1,725.00.

March silver futures have been trading sideways on the daily chart for three weeks as bulls and bears struggle for near-term technical control. Bulls' next upside price breakout objective is closing prices above solid technical resistance at $34.00 an ounce. The next downside price breakout objective for the bears is closing prices below solid technical support at the November low of $30.74. First resistance is seen at this week's high of $33.085 and then at $33.50. Next support is seen at the overnight low of $32.455 and then at $32.00.

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By Jim Wyckoff, contributing to Kitco News; jwyckoff@kitco.com

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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