(Kitco News) – Gold prices ended the U.S. day session solidly higher and hit a 3.5-month high Thursday. Add the slumping U.S. dollar index to the list of bullish elements helping to drive gold and silver prices higher recently. Silver prices also scored a 3.5-month high Thursday. Safe-haven and technical buying continue to support the yellow metal amid volatile world stock markets that presently still have a downside bias. April Comex gold was last up $15.30 at $1,156.60 an ounce. March Comex silver was last up $0.126 at $14.86 an ounce.
The sharply lower U.S. dollar index the past couple days has helped to lift raw commodity markets. A weak U.S. manufacturing report on Wednesday spiked the dollar index lower, and there was follow-through selling pressure on the greenback Thursday. Most raw commodities on the world market are priced in U.S. dollars. A decline in the value of the dollar makes those commodities less expensive to purchase with non-U.S. currency.
The marketplace is now awaiting Friday morning’s U.S. employment report for January. The key non-farms payroll number is expected to be up 185,000 following a strong rise of 292,000 in December. A number outside of market expectations is likely to cause higher price volatility, at least in the aftermath of the 8:30 a.m. eastern standard time report.
Technically, April gold futures closed prices hit a 3.5-month high today and closed nearer the session high. Prices are in a six-week-old uptrend and the bulls have technical momentum on their side. Bears also have gained the slight overall near-term technical advantage for the first time in months. Gold bulls’ next upside near-term price breakout objective is to produce a close above solid technical resistance at $1,175.00. Bears’ next near-term downside price breakout objective is pushing prices below solid technical support at 1,130.00. First resistance is seen at today’s high of $1,157.30 and then at $1,165.00. First support is seen at $1,150.00 and then at today’s low of $1,139.70. Wyckoff’s Market Rating: 5.5
March silver futures prices closed nearer the session high and hit another three-month high today. While the silver market bears still have the slight overall near-term technical advantage, recent price action has been bullish, including prices now in a three-week-old uptrend on the daily bar chart. A bullish “rounding-bottom” reversal pattern has also formed on the daily chart. Silver bulls’ next upside price breakout objective is closing prices above solid technical resistance at $15.00 an ounce. The next downside price breakout objective for the bears is closing prices below solid support at $14.25. First resistance is seen at today’s high of $14.93 and then at $15.00. Next support is seen at today’s low of $14.65 and then at $14.50. Wyckoff’s Market Rating: 4.5.
March N.Y. copper closed up 350 points at 213.00 cents today. Prices closed nearer the session high and hit another four-week high today. A big downdraft in the U.S. dollar index the past two days has also helped the copper market bulls. The copper bears still have the overall near-term technical advantage but the bulls have gained some upside momentum. Copper bulls’ next upside breakout objective is pushing and closing prices above solid technical resistance at 220.00 cents. The next downside price breakout objective for the bears is closing prices below solid technical support at 200.00 cents. First resistance is seen at today’s high of 213.80 cents and then at 215.00 cents. First support is seen at 210.00 cents and then at 207.50 cents. Wyckoff’s Market Rating: 3.0.