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(Kitco News) Gold and silver prices strengthened in U.S. midday trading on Monday, as the deteriorating Russia-Ukraine geopolitical situation led to safe-haven demand. However, gold was well below the solid overnight price gains. Metals markets will continue to react to the latest news headlines of the Russia-Ukraine war. April gold futures were last up $9.10 to $1,896.70, while May Comex silver was last up $0.358 to $24.375 per ounce.

Markets began the trading week with high anxiety after news over the weekend that Russian President Vladimir Putin had placed the military on high nuclear alert after the U.S. and Europe imposed severe sanctions on Russia for its invasion of Ukraine (including the West pulling several Russian banks out of Russia). important SWIFT financial system. This could further disrupt the flow of global commodity trade. Both SocGen SA and Credit Suisse AG have stopped financing commodity trades from Russia. Russian and Ukrainian officials held talks today aimed at ending the four-day war. Ukrainian President Zelensky said he didn't think the meeting would be very productive.

Global stocks were lower overnight, with U.S. stock indexes lower in midday trading but recovering from overnight lows. A Barrons headline on Monday read, "Tougher Sanctions Trigger Chaos in Russian Markets; It Has Threat of Spreading."

Russia's central bank said it will start buying gold in the domestic precious metals market. Russia announced the end of its two-year gold buying hiatus as the Russian ruble fell to a record low against the dollar. Russia's central bank had to raise its main interest rate from 9.5% to 20%. Russia is the fifth largest sovereign gold owner, with 20% of the world's reserves in gold.

The market wants to know what Putin will do next. The resistance of the Ukrainian army seems stronger than Putin thought. Strong economic sanctions from the West are rapidly crippling the Russian economy. Russian cyber attacks on the West appear to be coming soon. Putin seems to have backed himself into a corner, and the world is now thinking the unthinkable: a nuclear deal between Russia and the United States

Today the main external markets saw a sharp rise in crude oil prices on the New York Mercantile Exchange, trading at around $96.00 per barrel. The dollar index is higher. The benchmark U.S. 10-year Treasury note is currently yielding 1.87%. U.S. Treasuries are also seeing safe-haven buying interest.

Technically speaking, April gold futures prices have retreated from their overnight highs. The bulls have a solid overall near-term technical advantage. Prices are in a 4-week uptrend on the daily chart. The next upside price target for the bulls is a close above solid resistance at the February high of $1,976.50. The next near-term downside price target for the shorts is to push futures prices below solid technical support at $1,850.00. First resistance is at $1,900.00, then at $1,918.30. First support is at last week's low of $1,878.60 and then at $1,856.70. Witkoff's market rating: 8.0

Real-time 24-hour gold K-line chart [Kitco Inc.]

May silver futures bulls have an overall near-term technical advantage. Prices are in an uptrend on the daily chart. The next upside price target for silver bulls is a close above solid technical resistance at the February high of $25.705 per ounce. The next downside price target for the shorts is a close below solid support at $23.00. First resistance is at today's high of $24.88, then at $25.00. Next support is at $24.00, then last week's low of $23.755. Witkoff's market rating: 6.5.

Live 24 Hour Silver Chart [ Kitco Inc.]

May New York copper futures closed 260 pips lower today at 445.90 cents. Prices closed near the intraday lows today. Copper bulls have an overall near-term technical advantage. Prices are in a choppy two-month uptrend on the daily chart. The next upside price target for copper bulls is to push the close above the solid technical resistance at the February high of 469.95 cents. The next downside price target for the shorts is a close below solid technical support at the January low of 428.80 cents. First resistance is at today's high of 453.20 cents, followed by last week's high of 459.35 cents. First support is at 442.50 cents, followed by 440.00 cents. Market rating for Witkoff: 6.0.

Disclaimer: The views expressed herein are those of the author and may not reflect the views of Kitco Metals Inc. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information provided; however, neither Kitco Metals Inc. nor the author can guarantee such accuracy. This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a solicitation of any exchange for commodities, securities or other financial instruments. Kitco Metals Inc. and the author(s) of this article do not accept liability for loss and/or damage arising from the use of this publication.