(Kitco News) - Gold and silver prices are firmer in midday U.S. trading Thursday. Heightened geopolitical concerns have prompted some mild safe-haven demand and are keeping the speculative bears on the sidelines late this week. Short covering in the futures markets was featured in gold and silver today, following recent losses. Rising U.S. Treasury bond yields and a very strong U.S. dollar index did limit buying interest in the precious metals today. October gold was last up $6.60 at $1,672.40 and December silver was up $0.125 at $19.605.
Global stock markets were mostly lower overnight. U.S. stock indexes are down at midday and hit nine-week lows today. Risk aversion is still elevated late this week after Russian President Putin mobilized more troops to fight his war with Ukraine, and also implied he could use his nuclear weapons if Russia's integrity is threatened.
The marketplace Thursday was digesting this week's FOMC meeting that saw the U.S. Federal Reserve raise its main interest rate by 0.75%, which is what most expected. Fed Chairman Powell as his press conference after the FOMC statement was released Wednesday afternoon said it's likely the Fed will do two more 75 basis-point hikes this year. He also said a "soft landing" for the U.S. economy is not likely because the Fed must stamp out problematic price inflation. A Barron's news headline today reads, "The Fed signals more pain." Other global central banks Thursday also raised their interest rates, including Switzerland and the U.K.
The key outside markets today see Nymex crude oil prices higher and trading around $83.75 a barrel. The U.S. dollar index is higher and pushed to another 20-year high in early U.S. trading. The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note is fetching 3.684%. The 2-year Treasury note yield is 4.127%.
Technically, October gold futures bears have the solid overall near-term technical advantage. Bulls' next upside price objective is to produce a close above solid resistance at $1,700.00. Bears' next near-term downside price objective is pushing futures prices below solid technical support at $1,600.00. First resistance is seen at this week's high of $1,687.00 and then at $1,700.00. First support is seen at this week's low of $1,651.50 and then at $1,635.00. Wyckoff's Market Rating: 1.5.
December silver futures bears have the firm overall near-term technical advantage. Silver bulls' next upside price objective is closing prices above solid technical resistance at $21.00. The next downside price objective for the bears is closing prices below solid support at $18.00. First resistance is seen at $20.00 and then at $20.25. Next support is seen at today's low of $19.25 and then at $19.00. Wyckoff's Market Rating: 2.5.
December N.Y. copper closed up 45 points at 347.15 cents today. Prices closed near mid-range today. The copper bears have the overall near-term technical advantage. Copper bulls' next upside price objective is pushing and closing prices above solid technical resistance at the August high of 378.35 cents. The next downside price objective for the bears is closing prices below solid technical support at the July low of 315.55 cents. First resistance is seen at this week's high of 355.80 cents and then at 360.00 cents. First support is seen at this week's low 340.25 cents and then at the September low of 336.10 cents. Wyckoff's Market Rating: 3.0.