The futures market opened lower on Thursday, but aftersustaining an initial round of selling, the prompt month managed toclaw its way back up to $1.817, a 0.2 cent decline for the day.That left the September contract still perched just above long term support at $1.78 yesterday, trading within a narrow 4-cent range.Estimated volume registered an unremarkable 40,943.

Looking to today’s activity, the market remains divided whichdirection futures will trend, but most sources agree, the market isdue for a breakout to one side or the other. “[Thursday] was aninside trading day with a lower high and a higher low thanWednesday. I look for sellers to once again test support in themorning, but if they fail, the market may have the incentive tobreak to the upside,” a trader said.

However, another source sees Thursday’s range-bound market asjust another day of consolidation before the bears continue thedowntrend. “We saw fresh weakness in some of the winter monthstoday and that does not paint a very pretty picture for the frontmonths.” December traded down to a low of $2.395 Thursday.

For September, support exists at $1.78 which is Tuesday’s low aswell as the spot low for all of 1997. Resistance is found at recenthighs in the $1.83-84 area and then at $1.915, a chartist advised.

©Copyright 1998 Intelligence Press Inc. All rights reserved. Thepreceding news report may not be republished or redistributed, inwhole or in part, in any form, without prior written consent ofIntelligence Press,Inc.