Gold price up on safe-haven buying as Mid-East tensions rise
(Kitco News) – Gold prices are higher and silver slightly up in early U.S. trading Thursday. Safe-haven demand is featured in the yellow metal as risk aversion has up-ticked late this week following more military action in the Middle East. February gold was last up $10.40 at $2,016.90. March silver was last up $0.071 at $22.74.
Geopolitical tensions in the Middle East ratcheted up another notch as Pakistan launched retaliatory airstrikes inside Iran, killing at least 9 people. The strikes follow Iran’s attack Tuesday on Pakistani soil that killed two. The risk of escalation remained Thursday as Iran began a planned air defense drill from its port of Chabahar near Pakistan. Meantime, the U.S. has launched more air strikes against Iranian-backed Houthi rebel targets in Yemen.
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Asian and European stock markets were mixed to firmer overnight. U.S. stock index futures are set to open higher when the New York day session begins.
The key outside markets today see the U.S. dollar index down a bit after hitting a four-week high Wednesday. Nymex crude oil prices are near steady and trading around $72.50 a barrel. Meantime, the yield on the benchmark U.S. Treasury 10-year note is presently fetching around 4.09%.
U.S. economic data due out Thursday includes the weekly jobless claims report, the Philadelphia Fed business survey, new residential construction and the weekly DOE liquid energy stocks report.
Technically, the gold futures bulls have the overall near-term technical advantage but are fading a bit. 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 this week’s high of $2,062.80. Bears’ next near-term downside price objective is pushing futures prices below solid technical support at $2,000.00. First resistance is seen at $2,025.00 and then at Wednesday’s high of $2,036.10. First support is seen at today’s low of $2,007.70 and then at this week’s low of $2,004.60. Wyckoff’s Market Rating: 6.0.
The silver bears have the overall near-term technical advantage. Prices are in a choppy, five-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 $23.00 and then at this week’s high of $23.50. Next support is seen at the January low of $22.63 and then at $22.50. Wyckoff’s Market Rating: 4.0.
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