Gold Steadies Amid Bearish Technical Posture

New York (Apr 17)  Gold prices are trading steady to slightly lower in early U.S. dealings Thursday. The bearish technical posture that has gripped the gold market this week is presently trumping potential safe-haven buying on the Russia-Ukraine crisis. June gold was last down $1.60 at $1,301.90 an ounce. Spot gold was last quoted down $1.30 at $1,301.40. May Comex silver last traded up $0.011 at $19.645 an ounce.

The Russia-Ukraine crisis is not simmering down. A foreign ministers meeting including officials from the U.S., Russia, Ukraine and the European Union got under way in Geneva, Switzerland Thursday to try to de-escalate the situation. The U.S. is leading an effort to slap further economic and diplomatic sanctions on Russia. As the three-day Easter holiday weekend approaches, it would not be surprising to see the safe-haven assets, including gold, see at least some fresh buying interest surface and to see the market place move into a “risk-off” mode. The Russia-Ukraine crisis could escalate into an international crisis in a hurry.

European stock markets were weaker Thursday, following their recent rallies. The Ukraine crisis prompted some selling interest heading into the weekend. However, selling pressure in European equities was limited by perceived dovish monetary policy comments from U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen on Wednesday afternoon. U.S. stock indexes were slightly weaker in early electronic trading Thursday.

U.S. economic data due for release Thursday includes the weekly jobless claims report and the Philadelphia Fed business survey.