The Technicals: Will $1800 Hold

SchiffGold Gold Silver Pricing Analysis

Gold and silver both show promise but need to follow through

Exploring Finance

This article first appeared on SchiffGold.

For the past year, gold has been battling around the $1800 psychological mark. Silver has faced a similar up and down battle near $25, albeit with more volatility.

Gold finished the year strong at $1830 but then a pullback happened followed by a quick rebound. Will $1800 hold this time and provide support? Can silver break through $25 and unleash the bulls? Obviously, no one knows for sure, but taking a look at some indicators can provide some insight.

As of now, the consolidation gets tighter in both metals, but specifically gold. The fed meeting next week could be the spark that launches both metals through current resistance.

Resistance and Support


As mentioned, gold has been stuck around $1800 for months. The chart below shows that gold has made a series of higher lows and higher highs since the pullback in November. This week it touched $1848 before seeing selling pressure on Friday. It’s holding above $1830 which has proven another major resistance point for several months.

If gold sees follow through next week and takes out $1850 it could be a very bullish sign, especially if $1880 falls quickly after (the November high). Falling back below $1830 could trap the price in more sideways, choppy action. A fall back below $1800 could extend the move down quite a bit. Considering the recent moves though, the bulls have a slight advantage here.

Outlook: Slightly Bullish


Silver made a very big move this past week on relatively little news. It broke through $24 but then got caught up on its way to $25. It’s still holding solid gains above $24 and looks to be resting before making another attempt at $25.

Outlook: Bullish

Figure 1: Gold and Silver Price Action

Daily Moving Averages (DMA)


A golden cross formed on Dec 3 as the 50 DMA crossed above the 200 DMA. The 50 DMA is still holding above the 200 DMA, which is a good sign. Even more importantly, the current price sits comfortably above both averages ($1809 and $1803).

As pointed out last month, the two averages have grown increasingly intertwined. The closeness of these two averages has not been so close for so long in over a decade. This is consolidation before a big move. The current measures suggests this move will be to the upside. Taking out $1880 will confirm this move.

Outlook: Bullish

Figure 2: Gold 50/200 DMA


Silver was turned away from its 200 DMA earlier this week but still sits comfortably above the 50 DMA. With the 50 DMA below the 200 DMA, this is still a bearish chart. That being said, a double bottom formed at $21.5. If silver takes out $25.50 it could be off to the races. Silver is too volatile to wait around. If break backs below the 50 DMA it could be stuck heading lower. If the 200 DMA gets taken out in short order, $25.50 should fall.

While the chart is technically bearish, silver has the potential to reverse here. The next week should set up the next few months. Market has not made the decision yet, so it looks like the Fed meeting will.

Outlook: Neutral

Figure 3: Silver 50/200 DMA

Comex Open Interest

The two charts below show the open interest compared to the price in both gold and silver. The overlap is not perfect, but major moves in one generally occurs in tandem with the other as speculators push and pull the price around with paper contracts.


Open interest has recently rebounded quite strongly. It sits well below the November high (560k vs 620k), which gives room for a move higher before more consolidation. It’s promising to see the price climb so high despite being 10% lower. That being said, give the steepness of the move, the recent flows are most likely hot money, meaning it will leave at the first sign of trouble.

Outlook: Slightly Bullish

Figure 4: Gold Price vs Open Interest


Silver open interest is much lower than its recent history. Some of this is due to the higher price. The chart below has been modified to show notional open interest (accounts for price). As shown, it’s hovering right around the 4-year average of $19B, but well below the more recent highs of $30B. Based on the pattern, it is really at a pivot point. It was oversold last month, but that money returned. It needs new money to enter the next move up.

Outlook: Neutral

Figure 5: Silver Price vs Open Interest

Margin Rates

Most traders use margin to maximize their leverage. When Comex margin requirements are lower, it means the same dollars can get greater exposure. This tends to create more contracts and drive the price higher. Conversely, when requirements are raised, it forces traders to liquidate their positions which keeps a lid on prices. Generally, when margin is low, it can be assumed that any rally will be met with higher margin requirements to slow down a price advance.


The relationship between margin and price can be seen in the chart below, specifically in 2016 and 2020. As the gold price moved up, margin requirements increased which prompted a sell off. Margin requirements have come down significantly in recent weeks with a big drop coming Jan 6 from $7500 to $6500.

While requirements are not at the $3100 lows, they have come down enough to give amble room for increases to halt any big move in gold. This could seriously restrain the price if any breakout occurs in the coming weeks. If margin rates were already high with a big move looming, then it leaves less room to restrain the price by increasing margin.

Outlook: Bearish

Figure 6: Gold Margin Dollar Rate

The situation in silver is similar to gold. Margin requirements have come down quite a bit after the massive spike last February to restrain the price. Currently requirements are at $9500. This is still well above the $3300 lows in 2019 so there is still room to bring margins down further. However, any big move up could be met with increased margin, halting the move.

Outlook: Neutral

Figure 7: Silver Margin Dollar Rate

Gold Miners

The price movement in mining companies tends to precede a move in the metal itself. Stocks are forward looking and the sell off or price spike in the miners indicate the market anticipating the future movement in gold. Below are two charts showing the historical and more recent trends.

Historically, the HUI is extremely undervalued. The HUI would have to increase 4x to reach the highs seen in the 1990s and 2000s. The sector has never really recovered from the gold price sell-off in 2008.

Figure 8: HUI to Gold Historical Trend

Looking at the more recent trend shows how the miners typically lead the price movement in Gold (e.g., Mar 2020, July 2020, Mar 2021, May 2021, Aug 2021, Oct 2021). There are exceptions such as April 2020, but lately the gold stocks are front running the price moves in gold.

The current ratio has recovered to the highest since early December on a big move this week. It has pulled back some on Friday. Part of this could be the HUI getting dragged down with the overall stock market. Gold has faired slightly better the last two days.

That being said, it’s very hard to ignore a +6% move this week in the GDX. The move gives credence to a big up move coming in gold even with some of the gains given up Thursday and Friday.

Outlook: Bullish

Figure 9: HUI to Gold Current Trend

Trade Volume

Love or hate the traders/speculators in the paper futures market, but it’s impossible to ignore their impact on price. The charts below show more activity tends to drive prices higher.

After the November run-up, trade volume spiked down hard and fast. It has popped back up this week, probably driven by the big move higher. Volume tends to stay elevated for longer periods of time than a single week. Given next week will probably see elevated volume anyway due to the Fed, this could create another big move.

Slightly bullish in both

Figure 10: Gold Volume and Open Interest

Figure 11: Silver Volume and Open Interest

Other drivers

USD and Treasuries

Price action can be driven by activity in the Treasury market or US Dollar exchange rate. A big move up in gold will often occur simultaneously with a move down in US debt rates (a move up in Treasury prices) or a move down in the dollar. This relationship can also be seen over longer time periods as the chart below demonstrates. While gold magnifies the move, the pops and dips tend to move in the same direction.

Please note: IEF is the 7-10-year iShares ETF (a move up represents falling rates) and the Dollar return is inverted in this chart to show a positive correlation. They are also plotted on the right y-axis to better show the price movement.

Figure 12: Price Compare DXY, GLD, 10-year

Two months ago highlighted how the dollar and gold were moving together (shown above as the blue and green lines converging in November). This was raised as the biggest area of caution across all the metrics because it was more likely the currency markets were correctly pricing the next move.

The dollar and gold started converging again this week as rates rose and bonds fell. Again, this is concerning when two markets are moving one way (dollar up with higher rates), and gold is moving against the trend. The currency and bond markets are much deeper than the gold market, so it likely means gold is out of line here.

Outlook: Bearish

Gold Silver Ratio

Gold and silver are very highly correlated, but do not move in perfect lock step. The Gold/Silver Ratio is used by traders to determine relative value between the two metals. Historically, the ratio averages between 40 and 60, so outside this ban can indicate a coming reversion to the mean.

Silver closed the gap some this week. It reached a high of 81.9 in December and has since fallen to 74.5. Even with this fall, there is room for the ratio to fall further.

Outlook: Silver Bullish relative to gold