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(Kitco News)Gold and silver prices are steady to slightly lower in early U.S. trading Tuesday. Gold prices hit a three-week low overnight. A higher U.S. dollar index that is closing in on its for-the-move high scored in March continues to squelch buying interest in the precious metals markets. June gold futures were last down $0.50 an ounce at $1,293.70. May Comex silver was last down $0.109 at $14.99 an ounce.

Asian and European stock indexes were mixed to slightly up in quieter trading overnight, following Monday’s good gains. U.S. stock indexes are pointed toward steady to mixed openings when the New York day session begins. The U.S. indexes are at or near their recent multi-month highs and are enjoying solid price uptrends on the charts.

In overnight news, Australia’s central bank, the Royal Bank of Australia, left its monetary policy unchanged at the bank’s regular meeting. The RBA did warn that the Aussie economy is not meeting its inflation target and doing so may take a while. This continues a theme of very low, and possibly even problematic, inflation in the major economies of the world. Low inflation is the enemy of raw commodity market bulls.

The World Trade Organization has cut its 2019 world trade growth forecast to 2.6% from 3.7%, mainly due to the U.S.-China trade war. The WTO also said trade growth in 2017 slowed to 3% from 4.6% in 2017.

The Euro zone February producer price index came in at up 0.1% from January and up 3.0%, year-on-year. Those figures were in line with market expectations.

Bitcoin prices made a sudden jump higher in overnight trading, but the reason is unclear. (Read my “Bitcoin Alert” daily report on Kitco News to hear my reasoning for today’s move.)

The other key outside market today sees Nymex crude oil prices higher, and hitting another 4.5-month high overnight and are trading just above $62.00 a barrel.

U.S. economic reports due for release Tuesday include the weekly Goldman Sachs and Johnson Redbook retail sales reports, durable goods orders, the ISM New York report on business, and domestic auto industry sales.

Technically, the gold bulls still have the overall near-term technical advantage but have faded badly and need to show fresh power soon to avoid more serious chart damage. Bulls’ next upside price objective is to produce a close in June futures above solid resistance at the March high of $1,330.80. Bears’ next near-term downside price breakout objective is pushing prices below solid technical support at the March low of $1,287.50. First resistance is seen at Monday’s high of $1,301.70 and then at $1,305.00. First support is seen at today’s  low of $1,289.50 and then at $1,287.50. Wyckoff’s Market Rating: 6.0

Live 24 hours silver chart [ Kitco Inc. ]

May silver futures bears have gained the slight overall near-term technical advantage. Silver bulls’ next upside price breakout objective is closing prices above solid technical resistance at the March high of $15.65 an ounce. The next downside price breakout objective for the bears is closing prices below solid support at $14.50. First resistance is seen at Monday’s high of $15.19 and then at 15.315. Next support is seen at the March low of $14.95 and then at $14.85. Wyckoff’s Market Rating: 4.5.

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