Comex gold prices ended the U.S. day session lower Monday as risk aversion was the order of the day to start the new trading week. The key outside markets were in a bearish posture for the precious metals Monday as the U.S. dollar index was higher and crude oil prices were lower. December gold last traded down $13.70 at $1,764.40 an ounce. Spot gold was last quoted down $10.70 an ounce at $1,762.75. December Comex silver last traded down $0.678 at $33.96 an ounce. It was a “risk-off” day in the world market place Monday. Not surprising to many, the glow of the recent monetary stimulus measures by the major central banks of the world is now fading and focus is moving back to worrisome global economic growth prospects, and especially those of the European Union. That put downside price pressure on many markets, including the precious metals. Gold and silver decided to follow the raw commodity sector lower on Monday, despite their safe-haven asset status among many investors. However, if the EU debt crisis deteriorates significantly, gold and to a lesser extent silver will likely see fresh safe-haven demand occur. There was more weak economic data coming out of Germany Monday, as well as renewed worries about Spain and Greece and those countries’ abilities to service their debt burden. Germany’s closely watched IFO report showed business confidence down for the fifth month in a row. Spain has yet to formally request bailout funds from the European Union. Greece is preparing to ask the EU for more funding as a German magazine said Greece’s budget deficit may be double what was previously thought. There were also reports that German and French officials over the weekend could not agree upon a plan of action for dealing with the EU debt crisis. And in China, an advisor to that country’s central bank made more downbeat comments about China’s economic growth prospects. The European and U.S. stock markets slumped and the Euro currency weakened on the fresh news coming out of the European Union. Technically, December gold futures prices closed near mid-range Monday and saw profit taking and chart consolidation. Prices Friday hit a 6.5-month high and closed at a bullish weekly high close. The gold market bulls still have the solid overall near-term technical advantage. The gold bulls’ next upside price breakout objective is to produce a close above solid technical resistance at the 2012 high of $1,800.90. Bears’ next near-term downside price objective is closing prices below solid technical support at $1,720.00. First resistance is seen at Monday’s high of $1,775.30 and then at $1,780.00. First support is seen at last week’s low of $1,753.20 and then at $1,750.00. December silver futures closed down $0.688 an ounce at $33.95 Monday. Prices closed nearer the session low on profit taking and chart consolidation. Silver bulls are still in firm near-term technical command. Prices are in a two-month-old uptrend on the daily bar chart. Bulls’ next upside price breakout objective is closing prices above solid technical resistance at $36.00 an ounce. The next downside price breakout objective for the bears is closing prices below solid technical support at $32.51. First resistance is seen at Monday’s high of $34.585 and then at $35.00. Next support is seen at Monday’s low of $33.63 and then at $33.25.
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