Gold sees moderate price gains; bulls have advantage

 Gold prices are modestly up in early U.S. trading Thursday, as the near-term technical posture for the yellow metal is bullish, which is inviting the chart-based traders to the long side. Gains are being limited by better risk appetite in the marketplace late this week. February gold was last up $4.50 at $1,806.70 and March Comex silver was last up $0.031 at $22.855 an ounce.

Global stock markets were mostly up in overnight trading. U.S. stock indexes are pointed toward higher openings when the New York day session begins. Once again, the U.S. stock index bulls have shown keen resilience by rallying their markets after steep sell offs. Risk appetite has up-ticked significantly from the beginning of the week. The news on the Omicron variant of the coronavirus has become more upbeat as the week progressed—from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approving a pill that greatly reduces the effects of the virus, to studies showing Omicron is not as potent as the other strains, to early reports Omicron will run its course rapidly.

The key "outside markets" today see Nymex crude oil prices slightly higher and trading around $73.00 a barrel. The U.S. dollar index is near steady early today. Meantime, the yield on the U.S. Treasury 10-year note is presently fetching 1.469%.

The U.S. data point of the week will be today's report on personal income and outlays for November. The closely watched PCE price index component of the report is expected to be up 0.6% from October and up 5.0%, year-on-year. If this inflation data runs hot, markets may react.


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