Silver futures fluctuate amid U.S. fiscal uncertainty

LONDON (Oct 7)  Silver futures swung between small gains and losses on Monday, as investors continued to monitor negotiations over a U.S. budget impasse that has kept the federal government shut down since October 1.

Markets were also considering how the political deadlock in Washington will impact negotiations to raise the U.S. debt ceiling, which the U.S. Treasury Department has estimated will be reached by October 17.

On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, silver futures for December delivery traded at USD21.78 a troy ounce during European morning trade, up 0.15%. 

Silver prices held in a range between USD21.65 a troy ounce, the daily low and a session high of USD21.89 a troy ounce. The December contract ended 0.15% lower on Friday to settle at USD21.75 a troy ounce.

Silver prices were likely to find support at USD20.99 a troy ounce, the low from October 2 and resistance at USD22.13, the high from September 27.

Republican House Speaker John Boehner said Sunday the House will not support bills to fully reopen the government or increase the U.S. debt ceiling unless Democrats agree to talks aimed at reducing the deficit.

The comments fuelled fears that the political deadlock in Washington will not be resolved by October 17, the date which the Treasury Department has estimated the U.S. could risk an unprecedented default.

Meanwhile, delays in U.S. economic data releases fuelled expectations that the Federal Reserve will hold off on any move to scale back its stimulus program.

The shutdown meant that Friday’s scheduled release of the U.S. nonfarm payrolls report for September was postponed and no new date was given for the release of the data.

The dollar index, which tracks the performance of the greenback against a basket of six other major currencies, fell to a session low of 80.03, compared to the previous session’s high of 80.28.

Elsewhere on the Comex, gold for December delivery added 0.25% to trade at USD1,313.10 a troy ounce, while copper for December lost 0.95% to trade at USD3.270 a pound.