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Gold silver pull back on profit taking and as USDX rebounds

Gold, silver pull back on profit taking and as USDX rebounds

Gold prices are lower and silver well down from its daily high in midday U.S. trading Thursday. Profit taking from the shorter-term futures traders is featured in both metals after gold hit a nine-month high and silver a four-week high overnight. A rebound in the U.S. dollar index today after its pounding Wednesday is also a bearish daily outside market element for the precious metals. Still, both gold and silver are in firm near-term technical control. April gold was last down $10.10 at $1,932.70 and March silver was up $0.036 at $23.65.

The marketplace Thursday was still digesting Wednesday afternoon's FOMC statement and Fed Chair Jerome Powell's press conference. The Fed raised the Fed funds rate range by 0.25%, as widely expected. However, Powell's remarks at his presser led the marketplace to believe the Fed is close to ending its string of interest rate increases. Powell said inflation is receding but needs to pull back farther. He mentioned the word "disinflation" as characterizing the present U.S. economic conditions. Most agreed that in the final assessment, Powell was not nearly as hawkish as he had been in recent FOMC press conferences and left the door open to a Fed "pivot" sooner rather than later.

Gold price gains as Fed Chair Powell talks disinflation but warns it's too early to declare victory

Today was the regular monetary policy meetings of the European Central Bank and the Bank of England, which saw both central banks raise their main interest rates by 0.5%. The moves were not unexpected.

Focus now turns to Friday morning's January U.S. employment situation report from the Labor Department. The key non-farm payrolls number is expected to be up 187,000 jobs, following a rise of 223,000 in the December report.

The key outside markets today see the U.S. dollar index higher but it hit a nine-month low overnight. Nymex crude oil futures prices are a bit firmer and trading around $76.50 a barrel. Meantime, the yield on the benchmark U.S. 10-year Treasury note is presently fetching 3.365%.

Technically, April gold futures prices hit a nine-month high early on today and then reversed course to score a bearish "outside day" down on the daily bar chart. Bulls still have the solid overall near-term technical advantage. A three-month-old uptrend is in place on the daily bar chart. Bulls' next upside price objective is to produce a close above solid resistance at $2,000.00. Bears' next near-term downside price objective is pushing futures prices below solid technical support at $1,900.00. First resistance is seen at $1,950.00 and then at today's high of $1,975.20. First support is seen at $1,925.00 and then at this week's low of $1,915.50. Wyckoff's Market Rating: 8.0

March silver futures prices hit a four-week high early on today. The silver bulls have the overall near-term technical advantage. However, trading has been choppy and sideways at higher levels. Silver bulls' next upside price objective is closing prices above solid technical resistance at the January high of $24.775. The next downside price objective for the bears is closing prices below solid support at $22.00. First resistance is seen at $24.00 and then at last week's high of $24.415. Next support is seen at this week's low of $23.05 and then at the January low of $22.845. Wyckoff's Market Rating: 6.5.

March N.Y. copper closed down 35 points at 410.75 cents today. Prices closed near the session low and hit a three-week low today. The copper bulls have the firm overall near-term technical advantage but are fading a bit. A four-month-old uptrend on the daily bar chart has stalled out. Copper bulls' next upside price objective is pushing and closing prices above solid technical resistance at the January high of 435.50 cents. The next downside price objective for the bears is closing prices below solid technical support at 395.00 cents. First resistance is seen at 420.00 cents and then at this week's high of 424.90 cents. First support is seen at this week's low of 410.25 cents and then at 405.00 cents. Wyckoff's Market Rating: 7.0.

By Jim Wyckoff

For Kitco News

Time to Buy Gold and Silver

Tim Moseley

Gold silver tread water just ahead of FOMC meeting

Gold, silver tread water just ahead of FOMC meeting

Gold prices are modestly down and silver slightly up in midday U.S. trading Monday. Gold is seeing a mild corrective pullback and a bit of profit taking from futures traders after prices last week hit a nine-month high, and just ahead of this week’s highly anticipated monetary policy meeting of the U.S. Federal Reserve. February gold was last down $6.00 at $1,923.40 and March silver was up $0.123 at $23.75.

The U.S. data point of the week is the Federal Reserve Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting that begins Tuesday morning and ends Wednesday afternoon with a statement. Most believe the Fed will raise the key U.S. interest rate by 0.25%, following the recent 0.5% rate hikes. Trading in stock and financial markets early this week may be more muted ahead of the FOMC statement and press conference by Fed Chairman Jerome Powell Wednesday afternoon.

Global stock markets were mixed overnight. U.S. stock indexes are lower at midday, on downside corrections. Still, the U.S. stock indexes are in price uptrends on the daily bar charts and the stock index bulls have the overall near-term technical advantage.

 Stock markets are set to crash 37% as 'sucker's rally' ends, gold and silver to 'take off' – Chris Vermeulen

The key outside markets today see the U.S. dollar index firmer. Nymex crude oil futures prices are down and trading around $78.75 a barrel. Oil traders are awaiting an OPEC-plus cartel meeting this Wednesday. Meantime, the yield on the benchmark U.S. 10-year Treasury note is presently fetching 3.557%.

Technically, February gold futures bulls still have the solid overall near-term technical advantage. A three-month-old uptrend is in place on the daily bar chart. Bulls’ next upside price objective is to produce a close above solid resistance at $2,000.00. Bears' next near-term downside price objective is pushing futures prices below solid technical support at $1,885.00. First resistance is seen at today’s high of $1,933.60 and then at the January high of $1,949.80. First support is seen at last week’s low of $1,912.50 and then at $1,900.00. Wyckoff's Market Rating: 8.0

March silver futures bulls have the overall near-term technical advantage. However, trading has been choppy and sideways for weeks. Silver bulls' next upside price objective is closing prices above solid technical resistance at the January high of $24.775. The next downside price objective for the bears is closing prices below solid support at $22.00. First resistance is seen at $24.400 and then at last week’s high of $24.415. Next support is seen at Friday’s low of $23.39 and then at $23.26. Wyckoff's Market Rating: 6.5.

March N.Y. copper closed down 310 points at 419.15 cents today. Prices closed nearer the session low today. Profit taking was featured. The copper bulls still have the solid overall near-term technical advantage. A four-month-old uptrend is in place on the daily bar chart. Copper bulls' next upside price objective is pushing and closing prices above solid technical resistance at 440.00 cents. The next downside price objective for the bears is closing prices below solid technical support at 400.00 cents. First resistance is seen at today’s high of 424.90 cents and then at last week’s high of 430.25 cents. First support is seen at last week’s low of 417.20 cents and then at 411.05 cents. Wyckoff's Market Rating: 7.5.

By Jim Wyckoff

For Kitco News

Time to Buy Gold and Silver

Tim Moseley

Will the Fed stop gold’s run? Gold price sees longest weekly winning streak since the summer of 2020

Will the Fed stop gold's run? Gold price sees longest weekly winning streak since the summer of 2020

Gold is looking to close Friday with its sixth weekly gain — the longest winning streak since the summer of 2020 when gold hit new record highs above $2,000 an ounce. But the question is whether the precious metal can maintain its rally as analysts see inevitable profit-taking in the short term.

One argument analysts raise for next week is why wouldn't gold investors take some profits off the table after seeing stellar gains this January.

Earlier this week, gold was up more than 6% year-to-date — the best start to the year since 2012 — as the precious metal hit a fresh nine-month high at around $1,949. At the time of writing, February Comex gold futures were last at $1,930 an ounce, up 0.10% on the week.

"With big data points coming in, the market will back off, and you will take profits off that table," Walsh Trading co-director Sean Lusk told Kitco News Friday.

The top event to watch next week is the Federal Reserve meeting on February 1, followed by central bank Chair Jerome Powell's press conference.

There is a lot of noise regarding the pace of rate hikes potentially slowing down, Lusk said. But the Fed could still surprise with a hawkish stance.

Markets are currently pricing in a 98.9% chance of a 25-basis-point hike next week, according to the CME FedWatch Tool. But Lusk is not ruling out a 50-basis-point move. "I don't think the Fed will be less aggressive as they are looking at the long term," he said. "With China opening up, there will be more demand. The Fed could keep its foot on the pedal here."

Lusk warned that a move below $1,917 an ounce could trigger a drop to $1,920, and then the market is at risk of re-testing $1,890 and $1,860 levels. "I wouldn't be surprised if we saw a wipeout. We had a big rally since early November," he said.

The market believes the Fed is close to being done, OANDA senior market analyst Edward Moya told Kitco News. However, with too much inflation in the system, the Fed could signal that more needs to be done. "The Fed is sticking to the dot plot — 25 bps, 25 bps, and 25 bps," Moya said.

The Fed's preferred measure of inflation — the core PCE index — told an interesting story Friday, Moya added. "It showed that annual inflation is still more than twice the Fed's target. And the month-on-month basis, it rose and snapped a streak of declines," he noted. "Gold will be a tough trade going into the Fed. And what it does after will be key."

Many analysts see gold as overbought at current levels. TD Securities noted that gold had been driven by massive Chinese purchases leading up to the Lunar New Year.

"Even more important than the Fed meeting will be the first signs whether massive Chinese buying is continuing post-Lunar holidays. This is one of the larger drivers for gold," TD Securities senior commodity strategist Daniel Ghali told Kitco News.

Longer-term, the majority of analysts are bullish on gold. "The upward trend is still intact," RJO Futures senior market strategist Frank Cholly told Kitco News. "I am disappointed the market hasn't managed to get above $1,966. We had quite a run, and the market is getting a breather," Cholly said.

Once gold can get above $1,966 an ounce, prices will shortly see the $2,000 an ounce level, Cholly added.

Data to watch next week

Another key event to keep a close eye on next week is the U.S. jobs report from January. Markets expect to see additional 185,000 positions added, with the unemployment rate climbing to 3.6% from 3.5%.

"Employment creation remains strong for now, but job lay-off announcements are coming in thick and fast," ING's chief international economist James Knightley said. "We expect to see a softer nonfarm payrolls increase than seen in recent months, but it is still likely to be well above 100k given the large number of job vacancies that remain."

Also on the radar next week are the European Central Bank and Bank of England monetary policy meetings.

Tuesday: U.S. CB consumer confidence

Wednesday: Fed meeting, U.S. ADP nonfarm employment, U.S. ISM manufacturing PMI

Thursday: ECB meeting, BoE meeting, U.S. jobless claims, U.S. factory orders

Friday: U.S. nonfarm payrolls, U.S. ISM services

By Anna Golubova

For Kitco News

Time to Buy Gold and Silver

Tim Moseley

Gold declines in light of the report that revealed inflation continues to decline

Gold declines in light of the report that revealed inflation continues to decline

As of 6:00 PM EST, the February contract of gold futures has fallen for the second time in the last seven trading days. Currently, gold futures are fixed at $1927.60, a decline of $2.40 or 0.12%. Gold traded to a high of $1935.40, and a low of $1916.50.

The key takeaway from today’s PCE inflation index report was that the core PCA index declined in December by 0.3%. The preferred inflation index used by the Federal Reserve was at 4.7% year-over-year in November and declined to 4.4% year-over-year last month.

Both reports will influence decisions made by the Fed at next week's FOMC meeting.

They will be critical components used by the Federal Reserve next week and will most likely strengthen the conviction of hawkish Fed officials to maintain their extremely aggressive monetary policy. Currently, the Federal Reserve’s forward guidance is composed of additional rate hikes and maintaining elevated rates for a longer time.

The most likely outcome is that the Fed will raise the rate by ¼% at the next two meetings. The Federal Reserve has stated they continue to work to reach its inflation target of 2%. A vast majority of market participants continue to believe that the Fed will backpedal on its commitment to keep rates elevated through 2023.

I will be speaking at the VRIC 2023 (Sunday, January 29-30) at the Vancouver Convention Center. Both Kitco News and I wish to welcome you if you're available.

By Gary Wagner

Contributing to kitco.com

Time to Buy Gold and Silver

Tim Moseley

Gold consolidating gains above 1900 into Fed week

Gold consolidating gains above $1900 into Fed week

The gold price is up over $100 in the first month of 2023, its best start to the year since 2012. After a false breakout to the downside during the final quarter of 2022, gold has zoomed $332 an ounce from its November low at $1618. This now 20% rally over the past three months has technically placed the safe-haven metal in a bull market, suggesting further gains ahead.

Since a triple-bottom in its monthly chart was completed in November, gold has advanced for five straight weeks and in 10 of the past 12. The safe-haven metal has virtually been a one-way trade, with every U.S. dollar and Treasury yield dip becoming an opportunity to bid bullion higher. And with the S&P 500 remaining entrenched in a bear market that began at the start of 2022, the gold complex has quietly outperformed stocks since its early Q4 2022 low.

Strategas Research Partners' technical and macro research team, headed by Chris Verrone, points out that this is the first time in the past 50 years that the S&P has lagged the gold price coming off a market bottom. From the March 2020 lows, stocks outperformed gold, rising 36.3% to the latter's 13.2% over the next three months. And from the December 2018 low, the gap was 20.6% to 2.1% in favor of U.S. equities.

The closest spread was from the October 1990 lows, when stocks rose 6.2% to gold's 1.7% in the subsequent three months. Gold's outperformance, relative to stocks, suggests that the expectations of future Fed easing are less than bullish for equities, and that smart money rotation into the gold space has quietly begun.

Gold Futures are beginning to resemble an identical trend seen during the first quarter of 2020, just before prices skyrocketed to new all-time highs. In February 2020, Gold Futures reached a low of $1626 an ounce, roughly the same level bullion hit in November last year. Three months later, gold prices have come just $51 from a headline attention grabbing $2000 per ounce on Thursday, despite Chinese gold markets being closed for the “Golden Week” holiday.

Moreover, daily trading volumes in CME's micro contracts for gold, which it uses as a proxy for retail activity, are currently up 93% year on year. That is almost three times higher than in 2020. This continued bullish momentum suggests a healthy pullback in overbought Gold Futures may not begin in earnest until the key $2000 level has been tested.

With policymakers being set to move forward with raising borrowing costs by 25 bps during the FOMC meeting next Wednesday, bond markets have been pricing in the move for weeks and Fed officials have not pushed back. Fed Chair Jerome Powell and his colleagues were also signaling a ¼ point raise in advance to avoid surprises before this week's official "blackout" period.

This morning's Personal Consumer Expenditures (PCE) index report for December showed core inflation rose 4.4% on the year, in line with economist expectations. Core inflation has dropped compared to November's rise of 4.7%, while core PCE is the Federal Reserve's preferred inflation gauge.

Fed-funds futures are pricing in a final quarter-point hike in March and a peak of 4.75% to 5%, while the most recent set of Fed projections from December point to a median fed-funds peak of 5.1% by the end of 2023. Yet, the sharp fall in bond yields has brought the benchmark 10-year Treasury down from 4.25% last October to 3.49% on Thursday, suggesting interest-rates topping at 5% with cuts starting later this year.

Over the past few weeks, the gold price has been sniffing an end to rate hikes by gearing up for its third attempt at the all-time high resistance zone as it approaches $2000. The third attempt at a major resistance level is typically not successful. But following a likely pullback from $2000-$2100, gold should make a fourth and successful break to new all-time highs. Once gold broke out above the psychological $1000 level after its fourth try in mid-2009, the price had nearly doubled by late 2011.

The $2000 level may then attempt to become the new floor, as opposed to very strong 13-year overhead resistance. On the downside, if support at $1900 is broken, there is more support at $1875.

A monthly close in Gold Futures above $1950 on Monday would be extremely bullish in the near-term, while an eventual break above $2100 would be a very bullish signal for the gold market in 2023, with targets of $2500-$3000.

Meanwhile, weakness continues to be bought in select quality junior gold stocks, with capital markets improving recently. There have been several bought-deal financings announced in the junior space this week, along with private placement activity heating up since the start of the new year as well.

The GDXJ closed above formerly strong resistance at $37 to begin 2023, which is a level that has become important support. On the upside, a back-test of the key $2000 level in gold would likely fill an open weekly downside gap in GDXJ at $45, which has become resistance. This gap in the Junior Miner ETF was created back in April, ushering in a devastating capitulation phase in a sector that remains deeply undervalued in relation to metals prices.

After a significant 7-year bottom was reached late last year, the mining complex is experiencing an impulsive rally with multi-day to multi-week sideways price congestions. Since bottoming last September, both GDX and GDXJ have had two such pullback/consolidations, between 5 to 8%, and have been currently experiencing a third for the past three weeks.

Once a $2000 per ounce gold price that has been strong resistance for over a decade becomes a floor, a speculative frenzy in junior mining stocks may already be in progress. Before this relatively tiny sector comes back into favor, it is best to accumulate full positions in select quality juniors on weakness ahead of the coming herd of momentum trader's and institutional investors.

Many of the best in breed junior gold stocks have been popping higher one by one from 4 to 6-month basing patterns since late Q4. During the second half of 2022, the Junior Miner Junky (JMJ) newsletter carefully constructed a concentrated portfolio of exceptional junior resource stocks with 3x-10x upside potential to hold for long-term gains during the current up-leg in the mining space.

If you require assistance in accumulating quality precious metals related juniors, and would like to receive my research, newsletter, portfolio, watch list, and trade alerts, please click here for instant access.

By David Erfle

Contributing to kitco.com

Time to Buy Gold and Silver

Tim Moseley

Questions arise about next FOMC meeting will their decisions remain data-dependent

Questions arise about next FOMC meeting; will their decisions remain data-dependent

Exactly one week from today the Federal Reserve will hold the first Federal Open Market Committee meeting for the calendar year 2023. But before Federal Reserve officials meet for the first time this year on Friday, January 27 the government will release its latest data on inflation vis-à-vis the core PCE for December. Currently, the forecast for this week’s core PCE report is that inflationary pressures will continue to subside from 4.7% YoY in November to 4.4% in December 2022.

Inflation has been steadily subsiding as a result of the extremely aggressive monetary policy of the Federal Reserve which has been raising the benchmark “Fed funds” rate beginning in March 2022. The Federal Reserve had maintained its benchmark rate between 0 and ¼% for an extended time even though inflation in 2021 was spiraling out of control quickly approaching a 40-year high. Beginning in March the Federal Reserve raise rates by ¼%, the first-rate hike since 2018.

This was followed by a series of aggressive rate hikes that would define the second half of 2022. The Federal Reserve as they raised rates at each consecutive FOMC meeting from March to December. In May they raised rates by ½% and followed that with a series of ¾% rate hikes in June, July, September, and November. Finally, the Federal Reserve decreased the pace of hikes starting on December 2 by only raising them by ½ %. The totality of the actions by the Federal Reserve last year took the benchmark rate from between 0 and ¼% to between 4 ¼% and 4.5%.

It is widely expected that the Federal Reserve will continue its pivot by slowing the pace of rate hikes with a ¼% rate hike during the January FOMC meeting. The CME’s FedWatch tool currently is forecasting that there is a 98.1% probability that the Fed will raise rates by only ¼% and a 1.9% probability that the Fed will raise rates by ½ %. The Federal Reserve is also on record according to their most recent economic projections released in December of last year that they expect to take their benchmark rate just above 5% and not reduce that level for the entire year and possibly into the first or second quarter 0f 2024.

This raises many questions, the most important being whether or not the Federal Reserve will maintain this aggressive monetary stance in light of recent data that indicates that inflation in the US and globally has peaked and is decreasing every month. Global inflation came in at a six-month low in December but the Federal Reserve maintains that it is unlikely to reverse its hawkish bias.

Their hardline stance that they will keep rates elevated at 5% with no rate reduction in 2023 brings to question whether or not the Federal Reserve is still data dependent, and if they are will they maintain their rigid policy of no rate deductions this year regardless of what the data shows?

While declining levels of inflation allude that the hawkish monetary policy of the Fed with aggressive rate hikes is certainly behind us. The fact that the Federal Reserve is on record stating that they will slow the pace of rate hikes the question becomes; is there any point at which positive data on lower levels of inflation will cause them to backpedal on their stance of no rate reductions in 2023?

This is possibly the most important question on the minds of economists, analysts, and most importantly market participants.

By Gary Wagner

Contributing to kitco.com

Time to Buy Gold and Silver

Tim Moseley

Gold futures remain steady as investors await the PCE report and FOMC meeting

Gold futures remain steady as investors await the PCE report and FOMC meeting

Gold futures traded marginally higher as market participants focus on next week’s FOMC meeting. As of 4:00 PM EST, the most active February contract of gold futures is up $3.80 and fixed at $1932. Silver futures traded under pressure with the most active March contract currently down $0.37 and fixed at $23.565. The dollar had little influence on precious metals pricing today with the dollar index in essence unchanged, up 0.01%, and fixed at 101.795.

Next week, the Federal Reserve will hold the first federal Open Market Committee meeting for the year where they will most likely implement the next interest rate hike. Last week, we received a series of mixed messages from different Federal Reserve officials. James Bullard, the president of the St. Louis Federal Reserve for example expressed the need for the Federal Reserve to rapidly move to their target rate of 5% or higher saying “why stall”.

Another advocate continuing to raise rates at an accelerated rate was Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester. Last week she commented, "I just think we need to keep going, and we'll discuss at the meeting how much to do."

However, it is still highly anticipated that the Federal Reserve will continue with a slower pace of rate hikes as seen at the last FOMC meeting in December when the Fed raised rates by ¼%, the smallest interest rate hike since March of last year. Several officials of the Federal Reserve have alluded to slowing the pace of rate hikes including Gov. Christopher Waller, who said in a speech at the Council on foreign relations that he favors a ¼% rate hike at the next FOMC meeting.

This is in alignment with the CME’s FedWatch tool which is predicting a 99.1% probability that the outcome of next week’s FOMC meeting will be a rate hike of 25-BPS, and only a 0.9% probability that the Fed will enact a more aggressive stance raising rates by 50-BPS.

One of the most important reports that will occur before the FOMC meeting is the release of the US core PCE (Personal Consumption Expenditures Price Index) index on January 27. The last report came in at 4.7% for November and it is currently believed that this month’s report will show that inflation has subsided to 4.4% in December of last year.

Gary S. Wagner

For Kitco News

Time to Buy Gold and Silver

Tim Moseley

Gold price eyes 1950 but it might have to wait until the Fed meeting before moving on to 2000 – analysts

Gold price eyes $1,950 but it might have to wait until the Fed meeting before moving on to $2,000 – analysts

Gold's January rally took prices to nine-month highs Friday, with the precious metal up more than 5% since the start of the year. But industry experts are not ruling out some consolidation ahead of the Federal Reserve's February meeting.

Gold hit a nine-month high of $1,939 an ounce Friday on bullish technical momentum and safe-haven buying. At the time of writing, February Comex gold futures were at $1,925.20, flat on the day after some profit-taking.

 

Is gold overbought?

Analysts describe a rapid rally in gold and warn that conditions are starting to look overbought.

"It is going to be choppy. I am neutral on gold until the Fed's meeting on February 1. Major resistance is at $2,000. But I would be surprised if we move above $1,950. We are likely to consolidate here until the Fed meeting," OANDA senior market analyst Edward Moya told Kitco News.

The overall outlook on gold remains strongly bullish, with many analysts looking for the precious to eventually get to $2,000 an ounce later this year and potentially even later this quarter. It is only the short-term view that looks potentially overstretched.

"It's been a skyrocketing move higher. If selling pressure kicks in, $1,900 might not be a strong level of support," Moya noted.

Technically, gold is approaching overbought territory, noted RJO Futures senior market strategist Frank Cholly, adding that the trend higher remains strong.

"The gold market is moving higher at a ridiculous rate. It is seeing higher highs, higher lows, and higher closes. That is good. And the U.S. dollar has been trending lower. Any correction at these levels would be a buying opportunity," Cholly told Kitco News. "I expect gold to continue to trend higher. I am bullish until we see a pullback to $1,850."

The $2,000 target is still very much on the table for Cholly. "Even though we had a little trouble achieving a close at $1,950, I see a clear pathway to $2,000," he said.

Cholly explained that gold is a unique market in that higher prices make the asset more attractive. "In other markets, such as raw commodities that are supply and demand driven, you reach a point where high prices are the cure for high prices — meaning that people stop buying at a certain price target or producers increase production. For gold, the higher it goes, the more people want it. We can easily achieve $2,000 in the first half of this year, if not sooner," he added.
 

Fed expectations

The beginning of the year saw recession fears and movement in Treasuries, which was good for gold. "Year-to-date, gold is off to a good start," Moya said. "I still maintain my 2023 bullish outlook. We've seen it rally quite a bit, so there could be some weakness here."

All eyes will be on the Fed messaging come February 1, with markets pricing in a downshift to a 25-basis-point hike. This is a significant change of pace after the Fed went from hiking by 75 basis points in the fall to 50 basis points in December.

"The Fed has done enough messaging. But the labor market is a bit confusing. There has been enough weakness in the data already. They are likely to downshift to 25 basis points," said Moya. "For the Fed, a big risk is that inflation doesn't go all the way down."

The U.S. dollar moves are critical to watch in the next few weeks as markets anticipate a lower dollar as the Fed slows down rate hikes, added Cholly.
 

Data next week

There are several critical data releases next week, including the U.S. Q4 GDP and the Fed's favorite inflation measure — the core personal consumer expenditure.

Despite deteriorating manufacturing and service sector data, the fourth quarter GDP is expected to show the U.S. economy expanding 2.6% after reporting growth of 3.2% in Q3.

"Consumer spending should be an important driver given the strong performance in October, but aside from that, the growth will largely be focused on net trade and inventory building," said ING's chief international economist James Knightley. "This is not 'good' growth. Imports are falling because of the deteriorating domestic growth story, while inventories are increasing, partly because of improved supply chains but also because demand is not as strong as many businesses expected. The GDP growth figures over the next few quarters will be much weaker."

The core PCE price index is expected to slow to 4.4% on an annual basis in December from November's pace of 4.7%.

"[This] would confirm the easing trend in price pressures. There are no scheduled Federal Reserve speakers due to the proximity to the upcoming FOMC meeting and the self-imposed 'quiet period'. We expect a 25bp interest rate increase on February 1," Knightley added.

Wednesday: Bank of Canada rate decision

Thursday: U.S. GDP Q4, U.S. jobless claims, U.S. durable goods orders

Friday: U.S. PCE price index, U.S. pending home sales

By Anna Golubova

For Kitco News

Time to Buy Gold and Silver

Tim Moseley

Gold prices holding steady gains above 1925 as US existing home sales drop 15 in December

Gold prices holding steady gains above $1,925 as U.S. existing home sales drop 1.5% in December

Gold prices, while down from their nine-month highs, are holding modest gains following another drop in U.S. existing home sales, according to the latest report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

Friday, the association said that existing home sales fell 1.5% to a sales rate of 4.02 million homes in December, the market's eleventh consecutive drop. Although home sales continued to decline into the year-end, the data was better than expected. Economists were looking for a sales rate of 3.95 million.

The gold market is seeing a muted reaction to the latest economic data as some traders take profits after prices hit a nine-month high at the start of the North American trading session. February gold futures last traded at $1.927.10 an ounce, up 0.17% on the day.

The NAR said that existing home sales totaled 5.03 million in 2022, a drop of 17.8% from 2021. Economists note that the Federal Reserve's aggressive monetary policy action, raising interest rates 425 basis points last year, kept many potential home buyers out of the market. At the same time, low supplies of homes for sale kept prices elevated through 2022.

"December was another difficult month for buyers, who continue to face limited inventory and high mortgage rates," said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. "However, expect sales to pick up again soon since mortgage rates have markedly declined after peaking late last year."

The report said the median price for existing homes in December was $366,900, up 2.3% compared to last year. "This marks 130 consecutive months of year-over-year increases, the longest-running streak on record," the report said.

However, Yun noted that prices could start to reverse as the supply of homes for sale grows

"Home prices nationwide are still positive, though mildly," Yun added. "Markets in roughly half of the country are likely to offer potential buyers discounted prices compared to last year."

Looking at housing inventories, the report said that as of the end of December, there were 970,000 units for sale, down 13.4% from November but up 10.2% for the year. The number of homes for sale represents a 2.9-month supply, the report added.

By Neils Christensen

For Kitco News

Time to Buy Gold and Silver

Tim Moseley

Solid gains for gold on bullish charts some safe-haven buying

Solid gains for gold on bullish charts, some safe-haven buying

Gold prices are solidly higher and near this week’s nine-month high in midday U.S. trading Thursday. The technical traders continue to flow to the long side of the gold market due to bullish charts. Some modest safe-haven demand may be surfacing due to worries about the U.S. government going into default on its debt. February gold was last up $13.40 at $1,920.50 and March silver was up $0.048 at $23.695.

The U.S. Treasury Department said it is poised to take defensive action to prevent a default that could do "irreparable harm" to the economy, reports said.

Global stock markets were mixed but mostly lower overnight. U.S. stock indexes are lower at midday. The U.S. stock index bulls were derailed Wednesday when U.S. retail sales data came in weaker than expected, which revived notions the U.S. economy could slip into recession in 2023. The U.S. government debt concerns are also limiting buying interest in stocks.

 The world could run out of gold by 2050 as demand grows to keep up with evolving society, says researcher

The key outside markets today see the U.S. dollar index slightly lower. Nymex crude oil futures prices are higher and trading around $81.00 a barrel. Meantime, the yield on the benchmark U.S. 10-year Treasury note is presently fetching around 3.38%percent. U.S. Treasury yields have dropped in the wake of a tamer U.S. producer price index report on Wednesday and the weaker U.S. retail sales report.

Technically, February gold futures prices hit a nine-month high Tuesday. Bulls have the solid overall near-term technical advantage. A 2.5-month-old uptrend is in place on the daily bar chart. Bulls’ next upside price objective is to produce a close above solid resistance at $1,950.00. Bears' next near-term downside price objective is pushing futures prices below solid technical support at $1,870.00. First resistance is seen at this week’s high of $1,931.80 and then at $1,950.00. First support is seen at $1,900.00 and then at $1,885.00. Wyckoff's Market Rating: 8.5

March silver futures bulls have the overall near-term technical advantage. However, they have faded recently as a four-month-old uptrend on the daily bar chart has turned into sideways trading. Silver bulls' next upside price objective is closing prices above solid technical resistance at $25.00. The next downside price objective for the bears is closing prices below solid support at $22.50. First resistance is seen at $24.00 and then at $24.50. Next support is seen at the January low of $23.26 and then at $23.00. Wyckoff's Market Rating: 6.5.

March N.Y. copper closed down 40 points at 423.05 cents today. Prices closed nearer the session high today. Prices Wednesday hit a 6.5-month high. The copper bulls have the solid overall near-term technical advantage. However, the bulls are short-term exhausted. A three-month-old uptrend is still in place on the daily bar chart. Copper bulls' next upside price objective is pushing and closing prices above solid technical resistance at 450.00 cents. The next downside price objective for the bears is closing prices below solid technical support at 400.00 cents. First resistance is seen at today’s high of 426.85 cents and then at 430.00 cents. First support is seen at today’s low of 416.80 cents and then at this week’s low of 411.05 cents. Wyckoff's Market Rating: 7.5.

By Jim Wyckoff

For Kitco News

Time to Buy Gold and Silver

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