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(Kitco News) – Global stock markets were mostly weaker in very quiet trading Thursday, as the Christmas holiday weekend is fast approaching. World bond markets have also stabilized late this week, following tumultuous trading the past few weeks that has seen government bond yields in several industrialized countries push significantly higher. Expect activity and volatility in many markets to pick up at the beginning of the new year.
Gold prices are slightly lower in early U.S. trading Thursday, and hovering not far above the recent 10-month low. Bears remain in firm technical command of gold and silver.
The key "outside markets" on Thursday see Nymex crude oil prices trading modestly lower. The Nymex oil bulls continue to struggle when prices are above the $50-a-barrel level. Meantime, the U.S. dollar index is slightly lower on some more profit taking after the index hit a 13-year high on Tuesday.
There is a heavy slate of U.S. economic data due for release Thursday that could move markets a bit. The data includes the weekly jobless claims report, durable goods orders, the monthly house price index, personal income and outlays, leading economic indicators, the Kansas City Fed manufacturing survey, the Chicago Fed national activity index, and the third-quarter gross domestic product report.
By Jim Wyckoff, contributing to Kitco News; email@example.com
Follow Jim Wyckoff @jimwyckoff breaking market news.