(Kitco News) - World stock markets were mostly higher Wednesday, boosted in part by positive corporate earnings reports. U.S. stock indexes are pointed toward steady to slightly higher openings when the New York day session begins.
Many world stock indexes remain near record, multi-year or multi-month highs, on optimism this year will see improved growth in the major world economies.
Gold prices are firmer and hit a three-month high in overnight trading. Prices are in a seven-week-old uptrend on the daily bar chart and bulls have momentum. Safe-haven demand and technical buying are driving gold prices higher at present.
A feature in trading so far this week is solid gains in the U.S. dollar index. The greenback has been supported in part by ideas the Federal Reserve could raise U.S. interest rates at its March FOMC meeting. This week's price action has negated a downtrend on the daily chart for the U.S. dollar index.
The other key "outside market" on Wednesday sees Nymex crude oil prices trading lower and hitting a nine-week low overnight. Rising U.S. shale oil production levels, as reported in weekly rig counts and storage reports, are a significantly bearish element for the crude oil market.
U.S. economic data due for release Wednesday is light and includes the weekly MBA mortgage applications survey and the weekly DOE liquid energy stocks report.