US Gold futures finished pit trade higher Thursday. The precious Yellow metal traded near steady in early trading and then advanced when the USD index came under selling pressure following new weak US economic data.

Higher Crude Oil futures prices Thursday supported precious metals.

Dec Gold futures are now trading comfortably above the psych mark of $1,600.00. Near-term trading is within a well-defined range on the daily chart.

Dec Gold last traded + 12.30 at 1,618.90 oz.

Spot Gold was last quoted + 13.70 at 1,617.25 oz.

Sept Comex Silver last traded +0.388 at 28.20 oz.

The Philadelphia Fed business survey came in weaker than expected, followed by a weak housing starts report for July.

Other US data issued Thursday was mixed, but overall the economic data helped to pressure the USD index, which helped to boost Gold, Silver and Crude Oil

The World Gold Council reported central bank purchases of gold were more than double the rate seen at this time last year. However, there was a 7% annualized drop in global gold demand in the second quarter, including a 56% drop in demand coming from India.

The Gold Council said the stepped-up central bank purchases show "through all the uncertainty, it is clear that Gold's fundamental properties as a vehicle for capital preservation and a source of liquidity continue to endure." The central banks are the "ultimate longer-term investors," said the Council.

In other news; Chinese leader Wen Jiabao said his country may have to ease monetary policy soon. However, the market place shrugged off his comments.

European stock markets were quiet and range-bound. UK retail sales data was released and it came out stronger than expected.

Many market participants are sidelined as they wait to see if the US Federal Reserve will act to implement QE-3, this could come at the Fed's Jackson Hole, WY annual gathering in late-August, or at the next meeting of the FMOC meet in September.

Crude Oil prices were near steady early Thursday morning and then rallied as the session progressed. Crude Oil Bulls have the Northside near-term technical momentum as prices tapped at a 3-month high Thursday.

WTI Crude Oil 95.54 +1.21 (1.28%)

The London PM Gold fix is 1,604.50 vs the prior London PM fixing at 1,601.75

Paul A. Ebeling, Jnr.

Paul A. Ebeling, Jnr. writes and publishes The Red Roadmaster's Technical Report on the US Major Market Indices, a weekly, highly-regarded financial market letter, read by opinion makers, business leaders and organizations around the world.

Paul A. Ebeling, Jnr has studied the global financial and stock markets since 1984, following a successful business career that included investment banking, and market and business analysis. He is a specialist in equities/commodities, and an accomplished chart reader who advises technicians with regard to Major Indices Resistance/Support Levels.