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(Kitco News) – World stock markets were mostly firmer in quieter activity overnight. U.S. stock indexes are pointed toward steady to slightly higher openings when the New York day session begins.
Gold prices are firmer in pre-U.S. session trading. Bargain hunters have stepped in to buy the recent price weakness.
The geopolitical front remains relatively calm at present, which is bullish for world stock markets and bearish for safe-haven assets like gold. However, there remain serious matters that could flare-up at any moment, including the North Korea-U.S. confrontation and Middle East tensions.
A focus in the marketplace early this week is rallying crude oil prices. Nymex crude oil futures prices are nearing $50 a barrel. Reports say Saudi Arabia and Russia have agreed to extend the current OPEC-Russia oil-production cut-back accord by nine months. Nymex crude oil prices have rallied around $6.00 a barrel from the May low.
The other outside market on Tuesday morning sees the U.S. dollar index lower and hitting a six-month low overnight. The greenback bears have downside momentum and have the overall near-term technical advantage. That means the path of least resistance for the dollar index will remain sideways to lower in the near term.
In overnight news, the Euro zone reported its first-quarter GDP at up 0.5% from the fourth quarter and up 1.7%, year-on-year. The closely watched German ZEW economic sentiment index rose to 20.6 in May from 19.5 in April. Eurozone exports were reported at a record level in March. These latest reports continue a string of generally upbeat economic data coming out of the European Union.
U.S. economic data due for release Tuesday includes the weekly Johnson Redbook and Goldman Sachs retail sales reports, new residential construction, and industrial production and capacity utilization.