Global Equity Markets Higher; FOMC Meeting On Deck

(Kitco News) – World stock markets were mostly firmer overnight, as the recent selling pressure in technology stocks abated. The U.S. Nasdaq stock index is now showing early technical clues of topping out. U.S. stock indexes are pointed toward firmer openings when the New York day session begins.

Gold prices are lower again in early U.S. trading. Bulls have faded just recently as a four-week-old uptrend has been negated.

Focus is on this week's FOMC meeting that begins on Tuesday morning and ends Wednesday afternoon with a statement. The Federal Reserve is expected by many to slightly raise U.S. interest rates. Traders and investors are also keen to see if the Fed acts to further reduce its big balance sheet of government securities.

The Bank of Japan and the Bank of England also hold monetary policy meetings this week.

In overnight news, the closely watched German ZEW economic expectations index for June fell to 18.6 from 20.6 in May. A reading of 21.5 was expected for June.

The "outside markets" on Tuesday morning see Nymex crude oil futures prices slightly higher on tepid short covering. The oil market bears still have the firm overall near-term technical advantage as prices are well below $50.00 a barrel. Meantime, the U.S. dollar index is also slightly weaker. The greenback bears also hold the firm near-term technical advantage.

U.S. economic data due for release Tuesday includes the NFIB small business index, the weekly Goldman Sachs and Johnson Redbook retail sales reports, and the producer price index.

By Jim Wyckoff, contributing to Kitco News; [email protected]