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David Becker

Gold prices were nearly unchanged on Tuesday trading is a very tight range, as it appears the holiday season has taken hold. The lack of liquidity could generate additional volatility, but traders appear to be happy to let gold prices remain range-bound. US productivity slipped to the lowest level in the past 4-years, which has brought on wage gains. The dollar remains steady and US yields were also nearly unchanged.

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Technical Analysis

Gold prices remain range-bound and continue to have a difficult time accelerating in one direction. Prices attempted to climb higher but were unable to pierce through resistance near the 10-day moving average at 1,465. Additional resistance is seen near the 50-day moving average near 1,479. Short term momentum is turning neutral as the fast stochastic is poised to generate a crossover buy signal after recently generating a crossover sell signal. Medium-term momentum is turning as the MACD histogram prints in the black with a downward sloping trajectory which points to consolidation.

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Productivity Declines

US productivity dropped to the lowest level in 4-years which is likely to weigh on growth. The Labor Department reported that nonfarm productivity, decreased at a 0.2% annualized rate in the last quarter, the biggest drop since the fourth quarter of 2015. Productivity was previously reported to have decreased at a 0.3% pace in the Q3. A rebound in hours, driven by a surge in the volatile self-employed and unpaid family workers component, outpaced output in the third quarter. Productivity grew at an unrevised 2.5% rate in the Q2. Expectations has been for Q3 productivity to be revised up to show it falling at a 0.1% rate.

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