(Kitco News) – Gold prices are slightly lower in early U.S. trading Thursday, as risk appetite in the world marketplace has up-ticked a bit this week, as evidenced by gains in most world stock markets. Some more backing and filling on the charts and profit-taking from the shorter-term futures traders are also featured after gold prices hit a five-month high on Monday. June Comex gold was last down $2.40 an ounce at $1,281.00. May Comex silver was last up $0.003 at $18.165 an ounce.
European and Asian stock markets were mostly slightly higher Thursday. Crude oil’s solid losses on Wednesday did give equities traders pause, but oil prices have rebounded a bit Thursday morning. U.S. stock indexes are pointed toward higher openings when the New York day session begins.
The world marketplace is still very aware of geopolitical tensions between the U.S. and North Korea, and the U.S. and Russia. U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Wednesday afternoon took a very hard line on Iran, too. Tillerson said the days of a passive U.S. stance against regimes like Iran and North Korea are over. The hawkish U.S. posturing against its world adversaries is bullish for safe-haven gold.
The first round of the French presidential elections will be held this Sunday. The second round will be on May 7. European market watchers are getting more nervous as the French elections approach and polls show tight races. The very existence of the European Union could hinge upon elections in the European Union this year.
The key outside markets on Thursday morning see the U.S. dollar index weaker. Meantime, Nymex crude oil prices are also modestly up following the strong selling pressure seen Wednesday, on ideas of rising U.S. crude oil production levels.
U.S. economic data due for release Thursday includes the weekly jobless claims report, the Philadelphia Fed business survey and leading economic indicators.
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Technically, June gold futures bulls still have the overall near-term technical advantage. Bulls’ next upside near-term price breakout objective is to produce a close above solid technical resistance at $1,300.00. Bears’ next near-term downside price breakout objective is closing prices below solid technical support at $1,264.20. First resistance is seen at Wednesday’s high of $1,292.70 and then at this week’s high of $1,297.40. First support is seen at this week’s low of $1,275.40 and then at $1,268.10. Wyckoff’s Market Rating: 6.5
May silver bulls have the overall near-term technical advantage. Silver bulls’ next upside price breakout objective is closing futures prices above solid technical resistance at $19.00 an ounce. The next downside price breakout objective for the bears is closing prices below solid support at the April low of $17.735. First resistance is seen at Wednesday’s high of $18.325 and then at $18.435. Next support is seen at this week’s low of $18.065 and then at $18.00. Wyckoff’s Market Rating: 6.0.