Gold futures prices are modestly lower in early U.S. trading Thursday, as a "risk-on" trader and investor mentality has pervaded the market place late this week. That's bearish for the safe-haven gold market. The near-term technical posture of gold remains bearish, which is also keeping buyers scarce.
The U.S. government's likely inability to agree on a taxing and spending plan by the March 1 sequestration deadline is being mostly ignored in the world market place late this week, as the U.S. stock market rallied sharply Wednesday amid a "risk-on" trader and investor mentality. U.S. stock index futures were trading modestly higher Thursday morning on some follow-through buying strength. President Obama will meet with congressional leaders Friday on the budget matters. Traders and investors are becoming somewhat numb to the ongoing squabbling in Washington, D.C.
The European Union and its sovereign debt problems have surfaced again this week. The Italian elections failed to show a clear winner as voters ostensibly rebuked present government austerity measures. The head of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) said Thursday the Italian election gridlock will not significantly impact the EU debt crisis and efforts to stabilize it. There were Italian government debt auctions Tuesday and Wednesday that were deemed successful, even though yields were a bit higher. On Thursday, Spanish and Italian bond yields fell slightly, in another positive sign the EU debt crisis is now stable. The latest episode in the EU debt crisis appears to be calming down just a bit as the week progresses. European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi said Thursday he will continue to "preserve the integrity" of the Euro currency.
European stock markets were mostly higher Thursday on better corporate earnings reports coming out of Europe. The seemingly improved attitudes in the market place, regarding the EU debt crisis, are also an underlying bearish factor for the safe-haven gold market late this week.
The U.S. dollar index is slightly lower early Thursday on a mild profit-taking pullback after prices Tuesday hit a six-month high. The U.S. dollar bulls still have upside technical momentum to suggest the dollar index has put in a market bottom. That's also bearish for gold and silver.
Meantime, Nymex crude oil futures prices near steady early Thursday. Prices Tuesday hit a two-month low. The crude oil bears still have some downside near-term technical momentum and that's also a negative for gold and silver.
Technically, April gold futures prices are still in a six-week-old downtrend on the daily bar chart. Bears still have the overall near-term technical advantage. The gold bulls' next upside near-term price breakout objective is to produce a close above solid technical resistance at the January low of $1,627.90. Bears' next near-term downside breakout price objective is closing prices below solid technical support at last week's low of $1,554.30. First resistance is seen at the overnight high of $1,602.50 and then at Wednesday's high of $1,614.40. First support is seen at the overnight low of $1,585.30 and then at $1,580.00.