Gold prices were modestly up in early afternoon U.S. trading Wednesday. Some minor profit-taking early saw gold traders then step in to buy the dip when the U.S. dollar index could not hold its early gains and dropped to a 3.5-year low. February Comex gold was last up $3.70 an ounce at $1,340.80. March Comex silver was last up $0.016 at $17.20 an ounce.

Gold and silver market bulls are sitting comfortable at present, amid their positive near-term technical postures, the depreciating U.S. dollar, and some worries about the U.S. government shutting down late this week due to budget disagreements among Republicans and Democrats.

A massive sell-off in the crypto currency market-namely bitcoin-did not hurt the gold and silver market bulls any today, either.

The other key outside markets on Wednesday saw Nymex crude oil prices firmer. Prices are near the three-year high of $64.89 a barrel, set on Tuesday. The oil bulls are technically strong to suggest still more gains in the near term. Such is also bullish for the precious metals markets.

Live 24 hours gold chart [Kitco Inc.]

Something strange is going on in the financial system. And according to The Wall Street Journal, it's causing some investors to move massive amounts of money out of the banking system.

Technically, February gold futures prices closed nearer the session high today. The gold bulls have the firm overall near-term technical advantage, amid a five-week-old uptrend in place on the daily bar chart. Gold bulls' next upside near-term price breakout objective is to produce a close above solid technical resistance at the September high of $1,365.80.
 
Bears' next near-term downside price breakout objective is pushing prices below solid technical support at $1,300.00. First resistance is seen at this week's high of $1,345.00 and then at $1,350.00. First support is seen at today's low of $1,331.00 and then at the $1,325.00. 

Live 24 hours silver chart [ Kitco Inc. ]

March silver futures prices closed near mid-range today. The bulls have the overall near-term technical advantage. Prices are in a five-week-old uptrend on the daily bar chart. Silver bulls' next upside price breakout objective is closing prices above solid technical resistance at the October high of $17.59 an ounce.

The next downside price breakout objective for the bears is closing prices below solid support at the October low of $16.435. First resistance is seen at $17.32 and then at this week's high of $17.45. Next support is seen at $17.00 and then at this week's low of $16.80. 

March N.Y. copper closed down 280 points at 319.15 cents today. Prices closed nearer the session low and hit another three-week low today. The copper bulls still have the overall near-term technical advantage, but are fading a bit. Copper bulls' next upside price objective is pushing and closing prices above solid technical resistance at the December high if 332.20 cents.

The next downside price objective for the bears is closing prices below solid technical support at 310.00 cents. First resistance is seen at today's high of 322.10 cents and then at 325.00 cents. First support is seen at today's low of 317.85 cents and then at 315.00 cents. 

By: Jim Wyckoff of www.kitco.com

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