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(Kitco News) - Global equity markets were mostly firmer Monday, ahead of a busy week of U.S. corporate earnings reports. Two big U.S. companies are merging it was announced over the weekend, as AT&T intends to purchase Time-Warner.
European equities were lifted in part by improving banking sector stocks.
Asian stock markets were helped by a rally in Japan's Nikkei stock index after some slightly upbeat import and export data was released in Japan.
U.S. stock indexes are pointed toward higher openings when the New York day session begins.
Gold prices are modestly lower in early U.S. trading. Bears still possess the overall near-term technical advantage.
In other overnight news, the Euro zone Markit purchasing managers index
(PMI) rose to 53.7 in October from 52.6 in September. The October reading was a 10-month high. A number above 50.0 suggests expansion in the sector.
The key "outside markets" on Monday see the U.S. dollar index slightly lower on profit taking after hitting a seven-month high overnight. The recent strong greenback is somewhat limiting buying interest in the raw commodity markets. Nymex crude oil prices are weaker on reports that said Iraq said it wants to be excluded from any OPEC oil-production-cut deal. Nymex crude oil futures are trading just above $50.00 a barrel.
Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago President Charles Evans speaks Monday at a luncheon in Chicago.
U.S. economic data due for release Monday includes the Chicago Fed national activity index and the U.S. flash manufacturing PMI.
By Jim Wyckoff, contributing to Kitco News; email@example.com
Follow Jim Wyckoff @jimwyckoff