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(Kitco News) – Global markets were mostly higher in uneventful activity Wednesday, the last trading day of the month. U.S. stock indexes are pointed toward firmer openings when the New York day session begins.
Gold prices are slightly higher in pre-U.S. session trading.
In overnight news, the Eurozone May consumer price index came in at up 1.4% year-on-year, versus up 1.9% in April. The May reading was a bit higher than forecast. China's official purchasing managers index came in at 51.2 in May, which was slightly above market expectations.
The important "outside markets" on Wednesday morning find Nymex crude oil futures prices lower. The oil market bears have regained some downside momentum this week. Meantime, the U.S. Dollar Index is also slightly lower. 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 Wednesday includes the weekly MBA mortgage applications survey, the weekly Goldman Sachs and Johnson Redbook retail sales reports, the ISM Chicago business survey, pending home sales, and the Federal Reserve's beige book.