Steady price action Tuesday, ahead of FOMC meeting

New York (Jan 26)  Gold and silver prices are trading near unchanged in early U.S. trading Tuesday. Price action has been choppy recently, amid little fresh fundamental news to drive prices. Bulls are still encouraged they have worked prices up from the January lows. February gold futures were last down $1.20 at $1,854.00 and March Comex silver was last down $0.004 at $25.48 an ounce.

Global stock markets were mixed overnight, with Asian indexes mostly down and European indexes mostly up. U.S. stock indexes are pointed toward narrowly mixed openings when the New York day session begins. It’s a busy week for U.S. economic data, highlighted by the Federal Reserve’s two-day Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting that begins Tuesday morning and ends Wednesday afternoon with a statement and Fed Chairman Powell’s press conference. The featured data point in the U.S. today is the consumer price index. It’s also a busy week for corporate earnings reports.

The marketplace continues to monitor progress or lack thereof on the Biden administration’s efforts to push a $1.9 trillion financial aid package through Congress, to help Americans and businesses hurt by the pandemic. Right now, most reckon the package will get through Congress with possible modifications.

In other news, the U.S. Senate on Monday confirmed former Fed chair Janet Yellen as the new U.S. Treasury Secretary. A Wall Street Journal story just out had the headline: “Treasury and Fed Set for Close Alliance.” That suggests more easy money policies coming from the Fed and Treasury for some time to come.

The key “outside markets” today see the U.S. dollar index slightly down. Meantime, Nymex crude oil futures prices are firmer and trading around $53.15 a barrel. The yield on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note stands at 1.04%.

U.S. economic data due for release Tuesday includes the weekly Johnson Redbook and Goldman Sachs retail sales reports, the monthly house price index, the S&P-Case-Shiller home price indexes, the Richmond Fed business survey, the consumer price index and the FOMC meeting conclusion.

Technically, the February gold futures bulls and bears are on a level overall near-term technical playing field. Bulls’ next upside price objective is to produce a close in February futures above solid resistance at $1,900.00. Bears' next near-term downside price objective is pushing futures prices below solid technical support at the January low of $1,800.80. First resistance is seen at Monday’s high of $1,867.40 and then at last week’s high of $1,874.60. First support is seen at Monday’s low of $1,846.20 and then at last Friday’s low of $1,836.30.

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