(Kitco News) - World stock markets were mostly lower overnight, on corrective and profit-taking pullbacks from recent gains that put many of the indexes at multi-month, multi-year or record highs. European stock indexes were also pressured on disappointing corporate earnings reports coming out of the European Union countries. Asian stocks were also hit by weaker mining shares. U.S. stock indexes are pointed toward lower openings when the New York day session begins. The U.S. indexes hit record highs this week and are on an extended bull run that is well overdue for a good downside correction.
Talk in the marketplace late this week of U.S. tax reforms that won't come as soon as some had expected also dented world trader and investor enthusiasm a bit Friday.
Gold prices are higher and hit a 3.5-month high Friday on more safe-have demand. Weaker world stock markets and a lower U.S. dollar index today are helping out the precious metals market bulls.
The key "outside markets" on Friday morning find the U.S. dollar index modestly lower on a downside correction. The dollar index is still in a fledgling price uptrend on the daily chart. Meantime, Nymex crude oil futures prices are also weaker today, following a rise in U.S. stockpiles of crude to record levels, reported Thursday. Oil prices are still in a sideways and choppy trading range that has bound that market for weeks.
U.S. economic data due for release Friday includes the University of Michigan consumer sentiment survey and new residential sales.