Gold and silver prices down as risk appetite up late this week

New York (Apr 17)  Gold and silver futures prices are trading lower in early U.S. trading Friday, on some profit taking from recent gains and on some normal chart consolidation in price uptrends. Also, traders and investor risk appetite that is more robust late this week is working against the safe-haven metals. However, as has been the case lately, don’t be surprised to see traders step in to “buy the dip” in the metals, especially gold. June gold futures were last down $17.20 an ounce at $1,714.40. May Comex silver prices were last down $0.242 at $15.38 an ounce.

Global stock markets were mixed to mostly firmer in overnight trading. U.S. stock indexes are pointed toward sharply higher openings and five-week highs when the New York day session begins. Traders and investors are more upbeat to end the trading week. President Trump Thursday afternoon laid out plans to reopen the U.S. economy in stages that could begin as early as today, as there are early signs the Covid-19 pandemic in North America and Europe has hit a peak for new infections. Also, there is new hope that a drug being tested by Gilead can greatly reduce the severity of the respiratory illness, based on early clinical trials. As one market analyst put it, the marketplace is presently viewing the Covid-19 situation as “the glass being half-full.”

In overnight news, there was more dour economic data coming out of China Friday, as the world’s second-largest economy in March saw its industrial production down 8.4% versus down 13.5% in February, year-on-year. Retail Sales in the same period were off 19.0% compared to down 20.5% in February. Gross domestic product growth in the first quarter was minus 6.8% versus a year ago. The GDP figure was China’s first negative number ever recorded.

 In a sign of the still-very-turbulent economic times, luxury retailer Neiman Marcus could not make a bond payment this week as the pandemic keeps its stores shuttered. The company is now in default, suggesting bankruptcy is next.

The important outside markets today see crude oil prices solidly lower and trading around $18.50 a barrel--an 18.5-year low. The U.S. dollar index is higher again this morning as the greenback bulls are having a good week. The 10-year U.S. Treasury note yield is trading around 0.65% this morning.

U.S. economic reports due for release Friday are light and include the leading economic indicators report.

Live 24 hours gold chart [Kitco Inc.]

Technically, the gold bulls still have the solid overall near-term technical advantage amid price uptrends in place on the daily, weekly and monthly charts. Bulls’ next upside price objective is to produce a close in June futures above solid resistance at $1,800.00. Bears' next near-term downside price objective is pushing futures prices below solid technical support at $1,650.00.

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