Gold sees slight price gains, holding above key support

New York (Nov 20)  Gold futures prices are modestly up in early U.S. trading Friday. Bulls are working hard to keep prices above important chart support at the November low of $1,848.00, basis December futures, reckoning if that level is breached the chart-based traders will then jump on the sell side. December gold futures were last up $3.60 at $1,865.10 and December Comex silver was last up $0.182 at $24.23 an ounce.

Global stock markets were mixed overnight. U.S. stock indexes are pointed toward mixed openings when the New York day session begins. It appears traders and investors are caught between a surge in Covid-19 infections and the hopes for a vaccine. Positive vaccine news continues to be reported, with some of the general public possibly starting to get inoculated as soon as next month. Yet, Covid cases in the U.S. and Europe are raging and new infections are setting record highs by the day. More and more U.S. and European businesses are being restricted as local and state governments work to slow down the pandemic’s spread.

Hopes for a U.S. financial aid package American workers dimmed further on Thursday when U.S. Treasury Secretary Mnuchin declined to extend U.S. emergency loan programs and requested the Federal Reserve return to the Treasury yet-unused funds used in those programs, which are set to expire at the end of the year. The Fed declined, saying those programs are still working to stabilize the U.S. economy. This move appears to be in concert with other ongoing Trump administration efforts to not recognize the incoming president, Joe Biden, or at the very least make his transition into office as rocky as possible.

In other news reports said investors pulled $4 billion from gold-backed exchange traded funds last week, which is the largest-ever weekly outflow, according to Bank of America.

The U.S. dollar index is slightly higher early today. The other important outside market sees January Nymex crude oil futures prices firmer and trading around $42.30 a barrel. The yield on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note futures is currently trading at 0.84%.

There is no major U.S. economic data due for release Friday.

Technically, the December gold futures bulls still have the overall near-term technical advantage but trading has been choppy. Bulls’ next upside price objective is to produce a close in December futures above solid resistance at the November high of $1,966.10. Bears' next near-term downside price objective is pushing futures prices below solid technical support at the November low of $1,848.00. First resistance is seen at Thursday’s high of $1,872.60 and then at Wednesday’s high of $1,884.20. First support is seen at this week’s low of $1,850.00 and then at $1,848.00.

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