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Thursday, October 03, 2013

P.M. Kitco Roundup: Gold Sharply Higher OnShort Covering, Bargain Hunting, Safe-Haven Demand
Comex gold prices ended the U.S. day session sharply higher Wednesday and took back most of Tuesday’s heavy losses. The anxiety regarding the U.S. government shutdown and U.S. lawmakers’ impasse on agreeing to a federal budget ratcheted up a notch Wednesday, as the partial government closure entered its second day. Short covering, bargain hunting and safe-haven demand were featured. Also benefiting all the precious metals Wednesday were key “outside markets” that were in a bullish daily posture: solidly higher crude oil prices and a slump to an eight-month low in the U.S. dollar index.

The gold market was scoring moderate gains overnight after hitting a fresh seven-week low in overseas trading, and then extended those gains just after the Comex futures market opened in New York. December Comex gold was last up $30.60 at $1,316.80 an ounce. Spot gold was last quoted up $29.10 at $1317.00. December Comex silver last traded up $0.605 at $21.79 an ounce.
The marketplace greeted the partial U.S. government shutdown with some increased anxiety Wednesday but certainly not panic. Asian and European stock markets overnight focused on other matters. There are mixed ideas in the market place regarding how long the U.S. lawmakers will let the government remain closed. If the situation drags on for several days, anxiety in the markets will increase. In mid-October the U.S. government will hit its borrowing limit. If that more important matter cannot be agreed upon by U.S. lawmakers in a timely manner, then it could be a much bigger event for the market place than the current budget impasse. Fresh U.S. budget news coming out of Washington Wednesday could be market-sensitive.

U.S. government reports have been postponed due to the government furloughs, including Friday’s monthly employment report. Non-government U.S. economic reports will be issued as scheduled. The ADP national employment report was released at about the time the Comex futures market opened Wednesday morning. It showed a U.S. jobs gain of 166,000 in September, which was slightly less than market expectations.

Here is one school of thought on the U.S. government shutdown: Any extended shutdown will shave points off of U.S. gross domestic product growth. That could, in turn, prompt the Federal Reserve to delay any intended “tapering” of its monthly bond-buying program, also known as quantitative easing. This theory should have been bullish for the raw commodity sector Tuesday. Maybe that scenario will have a delayed bullish price effect on the raw commodity markets. Or, the other side of the coin is that any slower U.S. GDP growth would also be a drag on other world economies’ growth prospects, and also mean less demand for raw commodities.

Wednesday’s European Central Bank meeting resulted in no changes in ECB monetary policy, which supported the Euro currency and added downside pressure to the greenback. The monthly press conference by ECB president Mario Draghi produced no major pronouncements, but Draghi did express concern about the U.S. government shutdown impacting major world economies, if the matter is not resolved soon. There has been some speculation in the market place that the ECB could at some point launch another round of monetary stimulus measures.

The latest German government bond auction Wednesday saw 10-year bund yields drop sharply, as demand for safe-haven German debt increased due to the U.S. government shutdown.

China is observing the Golden Week holiday and market activity in the world’s second-largest economy will be quiet the rest of the week.

The London P.M. gold fix is $1,306.25 versus the previous P.M. fixing of $1,290.75.

Technically, December gold futures prices closed nearer the session high Wednesday after hitting a seven-week low in overnight trading. A five-week-old downtrend is still in place on the daily bar chart. The gold market bears still have the overall near-term technical advantage. The gold bulls’ next upside near-term price breakout objective is to produce a close above solid technical resistance at this week’s high of $1,353.80. Bears’ next near-term downside breakout price objective is closing prices below solid technical support at the August low of $1,271.80. First resistance is seen at Wednesday’s high of $1,324.20 and then at $1,337.80. First support is seen at $1,300.00 and then at the September low of $1,291.50. Wyckoff’s Market Rating: 4.0

December silver futures prices closed nearer the session high Wednesday and took back all of Tuesday’s losses. Silver bears still have the overall near-term technical advantage. A five-week-old downtrend is in place on the daily bar chart. Silver bulls’ next upside price breakout objective is closing prices above solid technical resistance at last week’s high of $22.175 an ounce. The next downside price breakout objective for the bears is closing prices below solid technical support at $20.00. First resistance is seen at $22.00 and then at $22.175. Next support is seen at $21.50 and then at $21.225. Wyckoff’s Market Rating: 3.5.

December N.Y. copper closed up 430 points at 331.70 cents Wednesday. Prices closed near the session high and took back most of Tuesday’s losses. The key “outside markets” were in a fully bullish posture for the copper market as the U.S. dollar index was solidly lower and crude oil prices were solidly higher. Copper bulls and bears are still on a level near-term technical playing field. Copper bulls’ next upside breakout objective is pushing and closing prices above solid technical resistance at the September high of 335.95 cents. The next downside price breakout objective for the bears is closing prices below solid technical support at the September low of 319.05 cents. First resistance is seen at this week’s high of 333.95 cents and then at 335.00 cents. First support is seen at 330.00 cents and then at 327.50 cents. Wyckoff’s Market Rating: 5.0.

Courtesy: Forbes