(Kitco News) – World stock markets were mostly weaker overnight and U.S. stock indexes are also pointed toward slightly lower openings when the New York day session begins. There is a bit of risk aversion in the marketplace early this week, ahead of key happenings later this week. Also, with many stock indexes around the world at or near record or multi-year highs, there is some normal profit-taking occurring.
Gold prices are solidly higher and hit a six-week high overnight. Prices are now within easy striking distance of the key $1,300.00 level. Other safe-haven assets like U.S. Treasuries and the Japanese yen are also seeing keener buying interest early this week.
Traders and investors are looking ahead to important marketplace events in the coming days, including general elections in the UK, a European Central Bank meeting, and former FBI Director James Comey's testimony to the U.S. Congress, all on Thursday, and the Federal Reserve's FOMC meeting next week.
Nymex crude oil futures prices are slightly lower in early U.S. trading. The oil market bears have the firm overall near-term technical advantage and prices are now well below $50.00 a barrel. The other "outside market" on Tuesday morning finds the U.S. dollar index slightly lower and hitting a six-month low overnight. The greenback bears are also in firm near-term technical control as dollar index prices are in a three-month-old downtrend.
U.S. economic data due for release Tuesday includes the weekly Goldman Sachs and Johnson Redbook retail sales reports, the NFIB small business index, and the IDB/TIPP economic optimism index.