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(Kitco News) – Global equity markets were mostly lower Friday, heading into the weekend. U.S. stock indexes are firmer heading into the New York day session.
Gold prices are firmer on mild short covering heading into a weekend that could see new geopolitical developments. President Trump said the U.S. and North Korea are headed for a major confrontation over North Korea's nuclear ambitions.
Traders and investors are awaiting what is arguably the most important data point of the week: Friday morning's U.S. advance first-quarter gross domestic product report. First-quarter GDP is expected to come in at up 1.0% from the fourth quarter of last year.
In overnight news, the Euro zone's consumer price inflation rate was reported at 1.9%, year-on-year, with the core rate at 1.2%. These numbers were above expectations and put the Euro zone's inflation rate very close to what the European Central Bank wants to see. The Euro currency rallied on the news. European stock markets were pressured a bit and European bond yields rose.
The key outside markets on Friday morning see the U.S. dollar index trading lower and near this week's 5.5-month low. Bears have the overall near-term technical advantage. Meantime, Nymex crude oil prices are higher on short covering after hitting a four-week low on Thursday.
Other U.S. economic data due for release Friday includes the employment cost index, the ISM Chicago business survey, and the University of Michigan consumer sentiment survey.