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European markets were also assuaged by the establishment, center-right political party winning the Dutch elections over the nationalist candidate Geert Wilders. U.S. stock indexes are pointed toward higher openings when the New York day session begins.
Gold prices are sharply higher Thursday, on a "sell the rumor, buy the fact" scenario following the U.S. rate hike. There are now early technical clues the gold market has put in a near-term bottom.
The FOMC raised U.S. interest rates by 0.25% Wednesday, which was fully expected. The marketplace deemed the FOMC statement and Yellen press conference as not being too hawkish on monetary policy, and possibly less aggressive on fighting inflation, which rallied world stock and commodity markets and pressured the U.S. dollar index.
In overnight news, China slightly raised its interest rates, following the move by the Federal Reserve Wednesday. The Bank of Japan kept its monetary policy steady at its Thursday monetary policy meeting. The Bank of England holds its regular monetary policy meeting Thursday.
In other overseas news, the Euro zone consumer price index came in at up 0.4% in February from January, and up 0.2% year-on-year, which was right in line with market expectations.
The key outside markets on Thursday morning see the U.S. dollar index trading slightly lower after solid losses posted Wednesday. The dollar index has seen its near-term price uptrend broken this week and the greenback bears now have downside technical momentum. Nymex crude oil prices are higher today on more of a corrective and short-covering bounce after hitting a four-month low Tuesday. The crude oil bears now appear to be exhausted after recent strong selling pressure, which begins to hint at a near-term market bottom being in place.
U.S. economic data due for release Thursday includes the weekly jobless claims report, the Philadelphia Fed business survey, and new residential construction.
By Jim Wyckoff, contributing to Kitco News; firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow Jim Wyckoff @jimwyckoff