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(Kitco News) - World stock markets were mostly near steady to weaker Tuesday, after the long U.S. holiday weekend. U.S. stock indexes are pointed toward slightly lower openings when the U.S. day session begins.
Gold prices are modestly lower in pre-U.S. trading after poking to a four-week high overnight. The gold bulls still have some near-term technical momentum as prices are in a fledging uptrend on the daily bar chart.
In overnight news, the Euro zone May consumer confidence index came in at -3.3 versus -3.6 in April. The May reading was in line with market expectations.
The important "outside markets" on Tuesday morning find Nymex crude oil futures prices slightly lower. The oil market bulls and bears are presently on a level overall near-term technical playing field amid the recent choppy trading. Meantime, the U.S. dollar index is slightly up. The greenback bears are still in near-term technical control as prices last week hit a six-month low and the dollar index is in a nearly three-month-old downtrend.
Traders and investors are looking forward to Friday's U.S. employment report for May from the Labor Department. That report is arguably the most important U.S. economic data point of the month. The key non-farm payrolls number for May is forecast to come in at up around 210,000.
Several Federal Reserve Board members are scheduled to speak this week. Their comments will be parsed for clues on the timing of the next U.S. interest rate increase. The FOMC meets to discuss monetary policy in mid-June. Many Fed watchers think the June FOMC meeting will see a rate hike announced.
U.S. economic data due for release Tuesday includes personal income and outlays, the S&P/Case-Shiller home price index, the consumer confidence index, and the Texas manufacturing outlook survey.