Gold prices pause as fresh inputs awaited

New York (Oct 15)  Gold and silver prices are steady to slightly lower in early U.S. trading Tuesday. The precious metals market watchers are awaiting some fresh fundamental news developments to help drive prices. December gold futures were last down $10.20 an ounce at 1,497.40. December Comex silver prices were last down $0.08 at $17.63 an ounce.

Asian and European stock markets were mixed overnight. The U.S. stock indexes are pointed toward higher openings when the New York day session begins. Risk aversion is not keen Tuesday despite traders and investors backing off on their initial upbeat assessment of the U.S.-China “Phase 1” trade agreement reached last week, and which has yet to be signed.

China's trade war with the U.S. brought more dour news on China's manufacturing front. The world's second-largest economy saw its producer price index down 1.2% in September, year-on-year. Consumer price inflation rose 3% year-on-year in September, due to a surge in food prices at up 11%. The food rise was led by a more than 69% rise in pork prices due to the spreading African swine fever disease.

Germany's economy got more downbeat data Tuesday. The closely watched ZEW survey current situation index fell to -25.3 in October versus -19.9 in September, and -23.6 as the consensus forecast. The ZEW survey expectations index was -22.8 in October compared to -22.5 in September and

 -26.4 that was forecast.

Nymex crude oil prices are lower and trading around $53.00 a barrel today. The other key “outside market” sees the U.S. dollar index slightly up in early U.S. trading.

U.S. economic data due for release Tuesday includes the weekly Goldman Sachs and Johnson Redbook retail sales reports, and the Empire State manufacturing survey.

Live 24 hours gold chart [Kitco Inc.]

Technically, the gold bulls have the overall near-term technical advantage. Still, a five-week-old downtrend line is in place on the daily bar chart and needs to be negated to give the bulls fresh technical strength. Bulls’ next upside price objective is to produce a close in December futures above solid resistance at $1,525.00. Bears' next near-term downside price breakout objective is pushing December futures prices below solid technical support at the October low of $1,465.00.

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