(Kitco News) - Gold prices are modestly down and silver prices solidly up in early U.S. trading Monday. Gold is feeling the pressure from bearish daily outside markets that include a slightly firmer U.S. dollar index and weaker crude oil prices. The U.S. stock indexes hovering near record highs is also a negative for the safe-haven gold and silver markets. April gold was last down $2.70 at $2,036.00. March silver was last up $0.421 at $23.015.
Asian and European stock markets were mixed in quieter overnight trading. China is celebrating its Lunar New Year holiday this week. Many China markets are closed much of this week for the annual holiday. In China it is the year of the Dragon. Broker SP Angel reports in a morning email dispatch that jewelers in China are reported to have stocked up on dragon-themed gold jewelry, with gold jewelry sales expected to rise 30% this year. “The ‘dragon baby’ rush could drive gold prices to new highs if the nation decided to invest in this direction,” said the broker. “ Government officials are hoping the influence of year of the dragon, which is revered for its power, strength, good luck and wisdom, will encourage couples to raise the birth rate. The last year of the dragon in China saw a 38% rise in new births.”
U.S. stock index futures are set to open mixed today and are near their record highs scored last Friday.
The key outside markets today see the U.S. dollar index slightly firmer. Nymex crude oil prices are a bit weaker and trading around $76.25 a barrel. The yield on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note is presently fetching 4.162%.
U.S. economic data due for release Monday is light and includes the monthly Treasury budget statement. The data pace picks up Tuesday, including the release of the consumer price index report for January, seen coming in at up 2.9%, year-on-year, compared to a rise of 3.4% in the December report.
Technically, the gold futures bulls have the slight overall near-term technical advantage. Bulls’ next upside price objective is to produce a close in April 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 last week’s high of $2,059.10. First support is seen at last week’s low of $2,030.80 and then at the January low of $2,023.30. Wyckoff's Market Rating: 5.5.
The silver bears have the overall near-term technical advantage. Prices are in a nine-week-old downtrend on the daily bar chart. Silver bulls' next upside price objective is closing March futures prices above solid
technical resistance at $24.00. The next downside price objective for the bears is closing prices below solid support at the October low of $21.17. First resistance is seen at $23.445 and then at $23.72. Next support is seen at today’s low of $22.63 and then at last week’s low of $22.195. Wyckoff's Market Rating: 3.5.
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