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(Kitco News) – World stock markets were mixed overnight and on this last trading day of the year. There were no major, markets-moving news developments overnight as a quiet, holiday-shortened trading week draws to a close. U.S. stock indexes are pointed toward firmer openings when the New York day session begins.
A marketplace feature of late this week is the weaker U.S. dollar index, which is seeing a normal corrective pullback from recent gains that saw prices last week hit a 13-year high.
Gold and other raw commodity markets are benefitting late this week from the pullback in the greenback. Gold prices are slightly higher in early New York trading, and holding on to good gains posted Thursday. A technically bullish weekly high close on Friday would be one technical clue the gold market has finally put in at least a near-term bottom.
The other key "outside market" on Friday morning sees Nymex crude oil prices trading near steady. Oil market watchers are waiting to see if OPEC and Russia oil producers can stick to their agreed-upon plan to reduce production. Many are skeptical. That plan goes into effect January 1.
In overnight news, China has announced it is easing restrictions on foreign investment and finance. This is a big deal for global companies wanting to do more business with the world's second-largest economy and most-populous nation.
U.S. economic data due for release Friday is light and includes the ISM-Chicago business survey.