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Gold prices are moderatelyhigher in early-afternoon U.S. trading Wednesday. The safe-haven metal erasedmodest overnight losses as the U.S. dollar index resumed its recent downtrendand fell to a 2.5-month low. A surging crude oil market alsosupported the metals market bulls today. Gains in the precious metals werelimited today as global equity markets are still in rally mode. February goldfutures were last up $5.50 an ounce at $1,291.40. March Comexsilver was up $0.007 at $15.715 an ounce.
The key outside markets today see the U.S. dollarindex down amid notions of a more dovish Federal Reserve. The USDXhas been trending sideways to lower on the daily chart for three weeks. Meantime,Nymex crude oilprices are solidly higher and trading well above the key $50.00 a barrel level.There are chart clues the oil market has bottomed out, including prices pushingback above the important psychological level of $50.00.
European, Asian and U.S. stock markets were highertoday, with U.S. stock indexes hitting three-week highs, as investors are in agood mood so far this week as reports continue to be positive on theU.S.-China trade talks that just concluded in Beijing. “Talks with Chinaare going very well,” President Trump tweeted Tuesday.
The marketplace is awaiting this afternoon’srelease of the minutes from the last meeting of the Federal Reserve’s OpenMarket Committee (FOMC). Traders will parse the report for clues on thedirection and timing of Fed policy in the coming year.
St. Louis Federal Reserve President James Bullardovernight said the Fed should refrain from raising interest rates for fear ofbringing on a U.S. recession. Bullard is a voting member of the FOMC.The U.S. government shutdown is into its thirdweek, but the matter is currently not a front-burner issue for markets.President Trump addressed U.S. citizens in a speech on the matter Tuesdayevening, and leading Democrats countered.