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(Kitco News) – Global stock markets were mixed in very quiet, pre-holiday trading Friday, as the Christmas holiday is on Sunday. Most markets are closed on Monday in observance of Christmas. Some markets close early today. U.S. stock indexes are pointed toward narrowly mixed openings when the New York day session begins.
Gold prices are slightly higher on short covering and bargain hunting following recent selling pressure.
In overnight news, two big European banks –Deutsch Bank and Credit Suisse — agreed to settle with the U.S. Department of Justice and pay big fines for mortgage-related matters. The U.S. has also filed a suit against Barclays Bank.
The key "outside markets" on Friday 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 earlier this week.
U.S. economic data due for release Friday includes the University of Michigan consumer sentiment survey and new residential home sales.