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Gold trades sideways as investors wait for next week’s FOMC and CPI report

Gold trades sideways as investors wait for next week’s FOMC and CPI report

Unlike yesterday’s double-digit gain in gold prices, today we see gold once again consolidating as it did on Tuesday. Tuesday’s price consolidation in gold indicated that the dramatic decline that occurred on Monday was more akin to a one-and-done scenario than the beginning of a correction. It was the equal or slightly higher low on Tuesday that was just as important as the fractional gains. It indicated solid short-term support for gold futures at around $1780.

Yesterday gold had a respectable price advance recovering roughly half of the decline traders witnessed on Monday. But I believe the key takeaway from the fractional gains on Tuesday and today is that market participants are waiting for the latest information on inflation when the CPI (Consumer Price Index) is released next Tuesday and the Federal Reserve’s last FOMC meeting of the year concludes on the following day.

The most important factor in recent and upcoming price changes in gold is that it has been and will continue to be driven by headlines.

Market participants are by large anticipating that the Federal Reserve will announce a 50-basis point rate hike rather than 75-basis points. According to the CME’s FedWatch tool, there is a 79.4% probability of a 50-BP rate hike, with only a 20.6% probability of a 75-BP rate hike by the Fed next week. This would break the 75-BP rate hike cycle set by the Federal Reserve beginning in June. This means that a rate hike of ½ a percent next week has been largely factored or baked into the pricing.

Gold futures basis the most active February 2023 contract opened in New York at $1799.50 and traded to a high of $1806. As of 4:35 PM EST, the February contract of gold futures is currently fixed at $1801.20 after factoring in today’s net gain of $3.30. This is just above the 200-day MA which is at $1800.20.

Today’s gains in gold pricing were based upon dollar weakness combined with fractional selling pressure in gold. The dollar is currently trading lower by 0.28% and gold futures are currently up 0.18% higher which confirms that today’s price change in gold is a net result of that combination.

By Gary Wagner

Contributing to kitco.com

Time to Buy Gold and Silver

Tim Moseley

Gold breaks above its 200-day moving average then moves back below it

Gold breaks above its 200-day moving average then moves back below it

Gold futures basis the most active February 2023 contract opened in New York at $1783.30 and traded to a high of $1803.20 just above its 200-day moving average which is currently fixed at $1800.70. The price point of this long-term moving average at least for the short term became a technical level of resistance moving gold back below it. As of 4:19 PM EST, the February contract of gold futures is currently fixed at $1798.90 after factoring in today’s net gain of $16.50 or 0.93%.

Today’s double-digit gains came out of a combination of dollar weakness and traders bidding the precious yellow metal higher. Currently, the dollar is down 0.41% with the dollar index fixed at 105.105. Gold’s gain of 0.92% indicates that market participants were not only active buyers but provided just over 50% of the gains realized in gold futures.

That same ratio can be seen in today’s pricing of physical gold. According to the Kitco Gold Index (KGX), spot gold as of 4:23 PM EST was fixed at $1786.70 after factoring in a net gain today of $15.50. Dollar weakness accounted for $6.55 of the $15.50 gain with the rest attributable to buyers bidding gold prices higher by $8.95.

Market participants move gold prices higher today as continued concerns focus on the Federal Reserve’s last FOMC meeting of the year next week and the next inflation report, the CPI. This report will be released during the first day of the two-day FOMC meeting. This will allow the Federal Reserve to see if the fractional decline in inflation reported for October 2022 in November is a continuation of declines in the CPI index after hitting the highest level this year in June when the CPI came in at a scorching 9.1%. From July to October, the CPI has had consecutive declines coming in at 8.5% in July, 8.3% in August, 8.2% in September, and 7.7% in October.

Traders and investors have largely priced in the high likelihood that the Fed will raise rates by 50 basis points, or a ½ %. This will take the current target rate of 375 – 400 basis points to 425 – 450 basis points by the end of the year. According to the CME’s FedWatch tool, there is a 74.7% probability of a 50-basis point rate hike and a 25.3% probability of a 75-basis point rate hike. It is the possibility, although remote, of a fifth consecutive rate hike of 75 basis points that continues to give market participants angst about the upcoming meeting.

Technical levels to watch with gold futures

Our technical studies indicate that the first level of resistance still occurs at $1802 based on gold’s current 200-day moving average. The next level of resistance above that is $1825 based upon the double top that occurred in both August and December.

Minor support first occurs at $1775 which corresponds to the 23.6% Fibonacci retracement. Major support occurs between $1720 the 50% retracement and $1745 the 38.2% Fibonacci retracement level.

By Gary Wagner

Contributing to kitco.com

Time to Buy Gold and Silver

Tim Moseley

Gold consolidates after trading to a double top near 1825 yesterday

Gold consolidates after trading to a double top near $1825 yesterday

Market participants are acutely aware of next week’s FOMC meeting which begins on Tuesday, December 13, and concludes the following day. Following the conclusion of the last FOMC meeting of the year, the Federal Reserve will release a statement which will be followed by Chairman Powell’s press conference. It is highly anticipated that the Federal Reserve will raise its benchmark Fed funds rate as it has at every consecutive FOMC meeting since March.

Traders and investors have largely priced in the high likelihood that the Fed will raise rates by 50 basis points, or a ½ %. This will take the current target rate of 375 – 400 basis points to 425 – 450 basis points by the end of the year. According to the CME’s FedWatch tool, there is a 77% probability of a 50-basis point rate hike and a 23% probability of a 75-basis point rate hike. It is the possibility, although remote, of a fifth consecutive rate hike of 75 basis points that has given market participants angst about the upcoming meeting.

Gold had fractional gains with the most active February 2023 Comex contract gaining $2.30 or 0.13%. As of 4:55 PM, EST gold futures are fixed at $1783.80. Gold futures opened today at $1780.80 and traded to a high of $1793.20, and a low of $1779.10. The dollar gained 0.26% in trading today with the dollar index currently fixed at 105.515. This means that traders were able to bid gold prices higher while overcoming mild dollar strength.

This can also be seen in the pricing of physical gold today. According to the Kitco Gold Index spot gold is currently fixed at $1771.40. Traders bid physical gold higher by $6.40 and dollar strength took away $4.10 of that gain which resulted in today’s net gain of $2.30.

Today’s fractional gain in gold indicates that market participants have paused the selling pressure seen in yesterday’s technical selling that moved gold prices sharply lower.

Important technical levels in gold futures

Our technical studies indicate that the first level of resistance occurs at $1802 based on gold’s current 200-day moving average. The next level of resistance above that is $1825 based upon the top that occurred in August. Major resistance can be seen at $1883; this is based upon the top that occurred in mid-June.

Minor support first occurs at $1775 which corresponds to the 23.6% Fibonacci retracement. Major support occurs between $1720 the 50% retracement and $1745 the 38.2% Fibonacci retracement level.

By Gary Wagner

Contributing to kitco.com

Time to Buy Gold and Silver

Tim Moseley

Gold silver hit hard by profit taking bearish outside markets

Gold, silver hit hard by profit taking, bearish outside markets

Gold and silver prices are sharply lower in midday U.S. trading Monday after hitting multi-month highs overnight. The metals are being hit by heavy profit taking from the shorter-term futures traders and by bearish outside markets. The U.S. dollar index is solidly higher and crude oil prices are lower and lost good early gains. Rising U.S. Treasury yields are also a bearish element for the precious metals markets today. February gold was last down $24.10 at $1,785.20 and March silver was down $0.88 at $22.375.

Today's report on the U.S. ISM services index unexpectedly improved in November, and with only a slight decrease in prices paid. The data may suggest wage pressures will remain stronger. The headline index for November came in at 56.6, which was higher than the expected reading of 53.3. The employment component also moved back to expansion territory. The report falls into the hawkish camp on Federal Reserve monetary policy and helped pressure the stock market, and in turn supported the U.S. dollar index while lifting U.S. bond yields.

Global stock markets were mixed to firmer overnight. U.S. stock indexes are sharply lower near midday, but are still no too far below last week's multi-month highs.

JPMorgan, HSBC to share custody of GLD's 900 tonnes of gold

The key outside markets today see the U.S. dollar index solidly higher after hitting a 3.5-month low last Friday. Nymex crude oil prices are lower and trading around $79.00 a barrel. As of Monday, the European Union and the U.K. have barred inbound shipments of crude oil from Russia and put a cap of $60 a barrel on EU companies doing business facilitating Russian oil shipments elsewhere in the world. At a meeting over the weekend the OPEC oil cartel lefts its collective crude oil production unchanged. Meantime, the yield on the benchmark U.S. 10-year Treasury note is presently 3.57%.

Technically,February gold futures prices hit a 3.5-month high early on today and then reversed course to score a bearish "outside day" down on the daily bar chart. The gold futures bulls still have the overall near-term technical advantage but faded today. Prices are in a four-week-old uptrend on the daily bar chart. Bulls' next upside price objective is to produce a close above solid resistance at today's high of $1,822.90. Bears' next near-term downside price objective is pushing futures prices below solid technical support at $1,733.50. First resistance is seen at $1,800.00 and then at the November high of $1,806.00. First support is seen at $1,770.00 and then at $1,750.00. Wyckoff's Market Rating: 6.0Live 24 hours silver chart [

March silver futures prices hit a seven-month high early on today but then reversed course to score a bearish "outside day" down on the daily bar chart. The silver bulls still have the overall near-term technical advantage but faded today. Prices are in a choppy three-month-old uptrend on the daily bar chart. Silver bulls' next upside price objective is closing prices above solid technical resistance at $24.00. The next downside price objective for the bears is closing prices below solid support at $20.79. First resistance is seen at $23.00 and then at today's high of $23.69. Next support is seen at $22.00 and then at $21.435. Wyckoff's Market Rating: 6.0.

March N.Y. copper closed down 440 points at 380.60 cents today. Prices closed near the session low today after hitting a three-week high early on. The copper bulls have the overall near-term technical advantage. Copper bulls' next upside price objective is pushing and closing prices above solid technical resistance at the November high of 394.70 cents. The next downside price objective for the bears is closing prices below solid technical support at 354.70 cents. First resistance is seen at today's high of 389.45 cents and then at 394.70 cents. First support is seen at 373.50 cents and then at 365.00 cents. Wyckoff's Market Rating: 6.0.

By Jim Wyckoff

For Kitco News

Time to Buy Gold and Silver

Tim Moseley

Will 1800 bring the gold bulls back? Analysts look for follow-through buying next week

Will $1,800 bring the gold bulls back? Analysts look for follow-through buying next week

rowing expectations that the Federal Reserve will slow the pace of rate hikes are creating new momentum in the gold market as prices ended the week above $1,800 an ounce. However, some analysts aren't entirely convinced that new capital is coming into the market.

Analysts said they are anxious to see if the precious metal can attract some follow-through buying next week and solidly break out above its 200-day moving average, something it hasn't done since February.

Not only is gold starting December off on the front foot, but its 7% rally during November was its best performance since May 2021.

Gold's solid finish to the week comes after the U.S. government reported substantial employment gains and higher wages for November.

Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said 263,000 jobs were created in November; economists expected job gains of 200,000. At the same time, wages increased 5.1% for the year, well above expectations.

Ole Hansen, head of commodity strategy at Saxo Bank, said that sentiment is improving with traders now looking to buy the dips instead of selling the rallies; however, he added that there is still little bullish conviction in the market and that needs to change if prices are going to consolidate at current levels.

"From a momentum perspective, we still need to do a little bit more work," he said. "Momentum traders are still not in a hurry to get into gold."

Kevin Grady, president of Phoenix Futures and Options, said that gold's future remains tied to the Federal Reserve and its aggressive monetary policy stance.

Gold's month-end rally started in earnest Wednesday after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said it could be appropriate for the U.S. central bank to slow its pace of tightening in December.

However, Grady noted that despite the dovish tilt, the Federal Reserve will continue to raise interest rates and that will keep many gold investors on the sidelines.

Bitcoin price dips below $17K as recession fears rise to the surface

He added that he sees the current rally as further short-covering, which is not sustainable.

"You don't want to be short gold if the Fed is going to raise interest rates by 50 basis points," he said. "But people are not saying let's get long gold at $1,800; they are saying let's not be short."

Edward Moya, senior North American market analyst at OANDA, said that given gold's move this past week, he would expect to see some consolidation in the near term.

He added that next week is a relatively quiet one for economic data and traders will probably keep a low profile as they wait for the Federal Reserve's monetary policy decision on Dec. 14.

However, he added that he would look to buy gold as it tests the bottom of its new trading range.

"I'm slightly bearish on gold right now, but if it drops $20 from here, then I would be bullish," he said.

Moya added that long-term, although the jobs data remains persistently strong, other areas of the economy continue to weaken.

He said that after the holidays, he expects to see significant demand destruction as consumers try to pay their bills. This environment will force the Federal Reserve to slow the pace of its rate hikes and even lead to the much-awaited pivot.

"Inflation is still going to be sticky and tricky to navigate, but we are not seeing a risk that the Fed Funds rate goes to 6%," he said. "The Fed is still going to downshift and that will be good for gold."

Heading into the weekend, the CME Fed Watch Tool shows that markets see a nearly 80% chance that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates by 50 basis points later this month. Markets still see a terminal rate between 5.0% and 5.25%.

Along with economic data, market analysts warn investors to keep an eye on headlines surrounding next week's OPEC+ output decision.

The group of 23 oil-producing nations led by Saudi Arabia and Russia will meet Sunday, with markets expecting the group to announce more production cuts, which would increase fears of a recession and higher inflation.

Next week's data

Monday: ISM services PMI, Reserve Bank of Australia monetary policy decision

Wednesday: Bank of Canada monetary policy decision

Friday: Producer Price Index, preliminary University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment

By Neils Christensen

For Kitco News

Time to Buy Gold and Silver

Tim Moseley

Solid performances from gold amp silver and a jobs report above expectations

Solid performances from gold & silver and a jobs report above expectations

Solid performances from gold & silver and a jobs report above expectations

Both gold and silver had stellar performances this week. This week the precious metals moved on both the jobs report and chairman Powell’s speech on Wednesday.

Gold futures opened today at $1817 and traded to a low of $1791.80 before substantially recovering. As of 4:00 PM EST, the most active February 2023 contract is fixed at $1812.20 after factoring in today’s price decline of $3.10. Silver futures basis the most active March contract opened at $22.975, traded to a low of $22.48, and is currently fixed at $23.37 after factoring in today’s gain of $0.529 or 2.32%. The primary reason that gold had a fractional decline and silver had a solid gain was today’s jobs report which was bullish for silver and slightly bearish for gold.

However, the weekly gains in both gold and silver reveal a more complete story, with the precious metals reacting to an abundant amount of the major events this week. Gold futures opened on Monday at $1756 and is currently fixed at $1812.20 posting a weekly net gain of approximately $56 or 3.189%. Silver’s performance was even more stellar this week opening at $21.52 and is currently fixed at $23.365 resulting in a weekly gain of approximately $1.85 or 8.66%.

The November jobs report

By far the largest factor moving the precious metals this week was Wednesday’s speech by Chairman Jerome Powell in Washington. The jobs report could have a nuanced effect on the Federal Reserve’s upcoming rate hikes as well. Last month resulted in 263,000 additional jobs. Although this is the lowest number since December 2020, November’s additional jobs came in well above forecasts. Economists surveyed by Refinitiv predicted that only 200,000 new jobs were added last month. The unemployment rate remained at 3.7%. The report revealed that the labor market continues to be extremely tight resulting in a smaller number of individuals being hired for holiday employment. The report will also factor into the decisions of Federal Reserve members as they meet this month for the last FOMC meeting of the year. Gold traded fractionally lower, in response to today’s nonfarm payroll jobs report.

Levels to watch in gold futures from now until the end of Q1 2023

Technical evidence now supports the fact that market sentiment for gold had a major shift expressed in the charts as a reversal from exceedingly bearish to bullish beginning in November. The chart above is a daily candlestick chart of gold futures.

November 3 marked the beginning of a major rally in gold. After trading to a low of $1621 gold prices have surged to a high of $1818.70 today. This has resulted in gold prices gaining approximately 10.54% in the last month.

Our technical studies indicate that the current level of support is between $1790 and $1802. The upper level of support is based on the 200-day moving average, and the lower level is based on the most recent top of $1791 that occurred in the middle of November. We also see a much wider band of resistance with minor resistance occurring at $1824.60 based on a top that occurred during the first week of August and major resistance at $1883 which is based upon a top that occurred during the first part of June.

We have also created a Fibonacci extension to forecast where gold prices could go by the end of Q1 – Q2 2023. This was created by measuring the price gains from the low of $1621 on November 3 to the high achieved in mid-November at $1791.30. We then began a Fibonacci extension from the minor correction that occurred towards the end of November when gold prices sold off to a low of $1719. Based on this study we are predicting that gold could trade as high as $1955 by the middle of 2023.

The largest takeaway from recent changes in the price of gold is that the rally which began on November 3 is signaling that a major pivot of market sentiment by investors in both gold and silver from bearish to bullish took place. Our technical studies presented today indicate that it is likely that that rally will continue not only through the end of this year but into the first half of 2023.

By Gary Wagner

Contributing to kitco.com

Time to Buy Gold and Silver

Tim Moseley

Gold silver rally amid bullish outside markets dovish Powell

Gold, silver rally amid bullish outside markets, dovish Powell

Gold and silver prices are sharply higher in midday U.S. trading Thursday, with gold notching a 3.5-month high and silver a six-month high. A slumping U.S. dollar index, higher crude oil prices and falling U.S. Treasury yields on this day are all boosting the precious metals markets. 

March silver futures prices hit a six-month high today. The silver bulls have the firm overall near-term technical advantage. Prices are in a choppy three-month-old uptrend on the daily bar chart. Silver bulls' next upside price objective is closing prices above solid technical resistance at $24.00. The next downside price objective for the bears is closing prices below solid support at $20.79. First resistance is seen at today's high of $22.945 and then at $23.00. Next support is seen at today's low of $22.24 and then at $22.00. Wyckoff's Market Rating: 7.0.

March N.Y. copper closed up 640 points at 380.25 cents today. Prices closed near the session high today. The copper bulls have thet overall near-term technical advantage. Copper bulls' next upside price objective is pushing and closing prices above solid technical resistance at the November high of 394.70 cents. The next downside price objective for the bears is closing prices below solid technical support at 350.00 cents. First resistance is seen at 385.00 cents and then at 390.00 cents. First support is seen at today's low of 373.50 cents and then at 365.00 cents. Wyckoff's Market Rating: 6.0.

lean by the U.S. central bank is also fueling the metals markets bulls today. February gold was last up $56.60 at $1,816.50 and March silver was up $1.034 at $22.82.

The marketplace deemed Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell's highly anticipated speech at the Brookings Institution Wednesday afternoon as leaning dovish on U.S. monetary policy. That rallied the U.S. stock market, pressured the U.S. dollar index and dropped U.S. Treasury yields. Gold and silver prices rallied in the aftermath of Powell's remarks. He said the U.S. central bank could slow the pace of monetary policy tightening as soon as the FOMC meeting in two weeks. However, Powell said the Fed will need to hold policy at restrictive levels “for some time.” Powell added that inflation remains far too high and that future rate hikes are warranted.

Global stock markets were mostly firmer overnight. U.S. stock indexes are weaker at midday following strong gains posted Wednesday.

Traders continue to monitor the civil unrest in China. It seems the situation is not spiraling out of control, but neither is it fading away. Reports say China is relaxing some its Covid lockdowns (likely due to the public protests), while at the same time China says new Covid infections are declining and vaccinations are on the rise. Relaxed Covid restrictions in the world's second-largest economy suggest better economic strength for China, which in turn would mean better demand for metals.

GLD positioning itself for future growth with second custodian for its gold

The key outside markets today see the U.S. dollar index sharply lower and hitting a 3.5-month low. Nymex crude oil prices are higher and trading around $82.25 a barrel. There have been some reports OPEC at its meeting early next week will consider cutting its collective crude oil production. Other reports say the cartel will leave its production unchanged. Meantime, the yield on the benchmark U.S. 10-year Treasury note is presently 3.556%.

Focus is now on Friday morning's U.S. employment situation report for November. The key non-farm payrolls figure is expected to come in at up 200,000, compared to the rise of 261,000 seen in the October report.

Technically,February gold futures prices hit a 3.5-month high today. The gold futures bulls have the firm overall near-term technical advantage and gained more power today. Prices are in a four-week-old uptrend on the daily bar chart. Bulls' next upside price objective is to produce a close above solid resistance at $1,850.00. Bears' next near-term downside price objective is pushing futures prices below solid technical support at this week's low of $1,752.90. First resistance is seen at today's high of $1,818.40 and then at the August high of $1,836.70. First support is seen at $1,800.00 and then at today's low of $1,782.90. Wyckoff's Market Rating: 7.0

March silver futures prices hit a six-month high today. The silver bulls have the firm overall near-term technical advantage. Prices are in a choppy three-month-old uptrend on the daily bar chart. Silver bulls' next upside price objective is closing prices above solid technical resistance at $24.00. The next downside price objective for the bears is closing prices below solid support at $20.79. First resistance is seen at today's high of $22.945 and then at $23.00. Next support is seen at today's low of $22.24 and then at $22.00. Wyckoff's Market Rating: 7.0.

March N.Y. copper closed up 640 points at 380.25 cents today. Prices closed near the session high today. The copper bulls have thet overall near-term technical advantage. Copper bulls' next upside price objective is pushing and closing prices above solid technical resistance at the November high of 394.70 cents. The next downside price objective for the bears is closing prices below solid technical support at 350.00 cents. First resistance is seen at 385.00 cents and then at 390.00 cents. First support is seen at today's low of 373.50 cents and then at 365.00 cents. Wyckoff's Market Rating: 6.0.

By Jim Wyckoff

For Kitco News

Time to Buy Gold and Silver

Tim Moseley

Investors focus on Powell’s comments which put gold back into rally mode

Investors focus on Powell's comments which put gold back into rally mode

Today gold futures are trading solidly higher as market participants react to Chairman Jerome Powell's speech at the Hutchings Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy, held at the Brookings Institution in Washington. Market participants focused intently on his remarks which alluded to a dynamic change in the Federal Reserve's monetary policy.

"Thus, it makes sense to moderate the pace of our rate increases as we approach the level of restraint that will be sufficient to bring inflation down … The time for moderating the pace of rate increases may come as soon as the December meeting."

However, it must be noted that the reaction by investors at large seems to focus on what they had hoped to hear which is the Fed will begin to raise rates at a slower pace rather than his nuanced message that the time required for the Federal Reserve to achieve their goal will take much longer.

"It is likely that restoring price stability will require holding policy at a restrictive level for some time … History cautions strongly against prematurely loosening policy. We will stay the course until the job is done."

As of 6:16 PM EST gold futures basis of the most active February, 2023 Comex contract is fixed at $1784.60 After factoring in today's double-digit advance comprised of dollar weakness, buyers in the market along with the rollover from the December to February contract month.

Chairman Powell's speech today diminished the concern of investors as they reacted to other members of the Federal Reserve who have been extremely vocal about upcoming interest rate hikes. Specifically, recent remarks by James Bullard underscored the hawkish intent of the Federal Reserve. Last week he commented on the need for the Federal Reserve's benchmark rate to go as high as 7% to deal with inflation. This week he said that "the Federal Reserve will likely need to keep its benchmark policy rate north of 5% for most of 2023 and into 2024 to succeed in taming inflation.”

Chairman Powell's statements were not in conflict in any way with those made earlier by James Bullard and other members of the Federal Reserve in his prepared speech. However, the chairman was able to deliver this message in a much softer tone. Chairman Powell in essence cemented a 50-basis point rate hike at the December FOMC meeting. However, he stressed that slowing the pace of rate hikes would require that the Fed maintains a restrictive monetary policy for a longer period.

Gold's recent rally from $1621 to just shy of $1800 is a reflection of a major change in the market sentiment of investors. It suggests that investors are focusing intently on inflation and that lowering inflation to restore price stability will be a multi-year process.

By Gary Wagner

Contributing to kitco.com

Time to Buy Gold and Silver

Tim Moseley

Gold silver sell off as USDX rebounds from overnight low

Gold, silver sell off as USDX rebounds from overnight low

Gold and silver prices are lower and nearer their daily lows in midday U.S. trading Monday. The metals are seeing selling pressure as the U.S. dollar index has rallied after trading solidly lower overnight. There are also worries about global demand for metals as unrest in China, the world's second-largest economy, is likely to further squelch that country's economic growth. February gold was last down $11.10 at $1,757.90 and March silver was down $0.474 at $21.135.

The marketplace is very uneasy to start the trading week amid civil unrest in China over its strict zero-Covid policies. Reports said there were demonstrations across China over the weekend. It's the largest show of discontent since the Tiananmen Square protests in 1989. China is the world's second-largest economy and the most populous nation. The geopolitical and economic consequences of a further escalation in protests and any crackdown by Chinese authorities would be huge. However, is this situation escalates, look for better safe-haven demand for gold and silver.

Other big market events this week include a speech by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on Wednesday afternoon and the U.S. employment report from the Labor Department on Friday morning.

Silver jewelry demand hits records, makes headlines in high fashion

The key outside markets today see the U.S. dollar index higher after trading solidly lower overnight. Nymex crude oil prices are weaker but well off the 10-month low hit overnight and are trading around $75.75 a barrel. The yield on the benchmark U.S. 10-year Treasury note is presently 3.69%.

Technically, February gold futures prices scored a bearish "outside day" down on the daily bar chart. The gold futures bulls have the slight overall near-term technical advantage but need to show fresh power soon to keep it. Bulls' next upside price objective is to produce a close above solid resistance at the November high of $1,806.00. Bears' next near-term downside price objective is pushing futures prices below solid technical support at $1,700.00. First resistance is seen at today's high of $1,778.50 and then at $1,790.00. First support is seen at $1,750.00 and then at last week's low of $1,733.50. Wyckoff's Market Rating: 5.5.

March silver futures bulls have the slight overall near-term technical advantage. Prices are in a choppy three-month-old uptrend on the daily bar chart. Silver bulls' next upside price objective is closing prices above solid technical resistance at the November high of $22.50. The next downside price objective for the bears is closing prices below solid support at $19.00. First resistance is seen at today's high of $21.815 and then at $22.00. Next support is seen at $21.00 and then at last week's low of $20.79. Wyckoff's Market Rating: 5.5.

March N.Y. copper closed down 370 points at 359.35 cents today. Prices closed nearer the session high and hit a three-week low today. The copper bears have the overall near-term technical advantage. Copper bulls' next upside price objective is pushing and closing prices above solid technical resistance at the November high of 394.70 cents. The next downside price objective for the bears is closing prices below solid technical support at 330.00 cents. First resistance is seen at Friday's high of 369.35 cents and then at 375.00 cents. First support is seen at today's low of 354.70 cents and then at 350.00 cents. Wyckoff's Market Rating: 4.0.

By Jim Wyckoff

For Kitco News

Time to Buy Gold and Silver

 

Tim Moseley

The Fed is not ready to pivot now but it might be soon

The Fed is not ready to pivot now, but it might be soon

The gold market continues to hold its own as prices end the week slightly above $1,750 an ounce. The precious metal was once again thrown a lifeline by the Federal Reserve after the minutes from the November monetary policy meeting were deemed to have a dovish tilt.

According to the minutes, a majority of participants judged that a slowing in the pace of increases would likely be appropriate soon. The messaging is helping to solidify expectations that the U.S. central bank will raise interest rates by 50 basis points next month.

Although the gold market is keeping its head above the water, holding critical support levels, investors still appear to be reluctant to make any significant bullish bets. The lack of conviction is not surprising, as other pivot rumors throughout the summer have burned investors.

While the Fed is preparing to slow the pace of its rate hikes, many market analysts have pointed out that this is not a pivot. Markets still see the terminal rate in the Fed Funds above 5% and nobody knows how long rates will be kept at this level.

This will still be a difficult environment for gold. However, even if prices are capped at around $1,800, it is still important to note that despite the strong headwinds, gold continues to outperform the broader market and remains an important portfolio diversifier.

The French bank Société Générale has probably the healthiest outlook on gold. The bank made some significant adjustments to its multi-asset portfolio ahead of the new year. It is now heavily weighted in bonds. At the same time, it has only made a slight adjustment to its gold allocation. It now represents 6% of its portfolio, down from 7%.

Although the bank sees gold prices going lower next year, they still see value in holding the precious metal.

"Systemic risks are a common feature after a round of policy tightening of this kind," the analysts said. "Holding gold and CHF can help stabilize portfolio volatility, in our view."

Gold prices should be closer to $1,614 than $1,750 – Quant Insight

The system risks to the economy only continue to grow. This week Tavi Costa, portfolio manager at Crescat Capital, noted that 70% of the entire U.S. yield curve is now inverted. He added that every time this threshold has been breached, it has soon led to a recession.

Specifically, the yield on two-year notes is now 71 basis points higher than the 10-year yield. This is the widest gap in the inverted yield curve in more than 40 years.

Tavi noted that even if gold prices do go lower, there is solid value and potential in the precious metal that investors can't ignore.

With so much uncertainty in the marketplace, some analysts have said that it is only a matter of time before the Fed's slower tightening turns into outright cuts.

By Neils Christensen

For Kitco News

Time to Buy Gold and Silver

 

Tim Moseley