A.M. Kitco Metals Roundup: Gold Trades Near Steady as Market Consolidates Recent Gains

Comex gold futures prices are trading near steady levels Tuesday morning. The markets overall are calmer Tuesday, as the United Nations military action may have peaked and the Japanese nuclear crisis may be de-escalating. Comex April gold last traded up $0.80 an ounce at $1,427.20. Spot gold last traded down $0.70 at $1,427.00.

While the markets, in general, do have a calmer disposition Tuesday morning, the recent unsettling market events of the world have not gone away, nor will they. This is keeping a bid under precious metals market prices and limiting selling interest among traders and investors. Don't be surprised to see new, unexpected and market-moving twists and turns regarding the Middle East and Japan situations, which will continue to be closely eyed by all traders.

The U.S. dollar index is trading weaker again Tuesday morning, with the June futures contract falling to another new low. U.S. dollar index bears have the solid overall technical advantage, which continues to be an underlying bullish factor for the precious metals markets.

A Dow Jones Newswires story on Tuesday pointed out that finance professionals are now expecting rising inflationary pressures in the coming months, according to a survey by J.P. Morgan. Rising commodity prices the past several months combined with a very stimulative Federal Reserve monetary policy (printing money) were important, early clues to many veteran market watchers that such was indeed the case. Those veteran market watchers can profess that others are just now realizing what they had known for quite some time. Rising inflationary pressures are bullish for the precious metals markets.

U.S. economic data due for release Tuesday includes the Goldman Sachs weekly chain store sales index, the Johnson Redbook weekly retail sales report, the monthly housing price index and the Richmond Fed business activity index.

The London A.M. gold fixing was $1,425.50 versus the previous P.M. fixing of $1,432.00.

Technically, April Comex gold futures prices are presently trading not that far below the all-time record high of $1,445.70, scored in early March. Last week's near-term technical damage has been mostly repaired by strong price gains seen since late last week and on Monday. Bulls have regained near-term upside technical momentum and have the solid near-term and longer-term technical advantage in the gold market. Bulls' next near-term upside technical objective is to produce a close above solid technical resistance at $1,445.70. Bears' next near-term downside price breakout objective is closing prices below solid technical support at $1,400.00. First resistance is seen at Monday's high of $1,435.10 and then at $1,445.70. First support is seen at the overnight low of $1,423.30 and then at $1,418.80.

May silver futures last traded down 4.6 cents at $35.915 an ounce Tuesday. Last week's mild near-term chart damage has been repaired. The silver bulls have the solid overall near-term and longer-term technical advantage. The next downside price breakout objective for the bears is closing prices below solid technical support at last week’s low of $33.565. Bulls' next upside price objective is producing a close above solid technical resistance at the March high of $36.745 an ounce. First resistance is seen at the overnight high of $36.37 and then at $36.745. Next support is seen at $35.50 and then at Monday's low of $35.355.

By Jim Wyckoff of Kitco News; jwyckoff@kitco.com

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