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(Kitco News) – World stock markets were mixed overnight. Asian stocks were mostly lower and European stocks were mostly higher overnight as investors and traders around the world have had two days to digest the latest North Korea nuclear bomb test, which is reported to be the biggest bomb yet. The U.S. says North Korea is "begging for war" as this major geopolitical matter is ratcheted up yet another notch.
U.S. stock indexes are pointed toward weaker openings when the New York day session begins. U.S. traders are seeing their first day back at work Tuesday, following the Labor Day holiday weekend.
Gold prices are higher and hit a 10-month high overnight, on safe-haven demand amid the North Korea crisis.
In overnight news, the Euro zone Markit purchasing managers' composite index (PMI) came in at 55.7 in August, which is just below market expectations for a reading of 55.8. A reading above 50.0 suggests growth in the sector. Euro zone retail sales in July were reported down 0.3% from June and up 2.6%, year-on-year.
The major economic data point of the week is Thursday's European Central Bank monetary policy meeting, including a press conference from ECB President Mario Draghi after the meeting.
The key outside markets on Tuesday morning see the U.S. dollar index lower and not far above the recent 15-month low. Meantime, Nymex crude oil futures higher. Prices are still in a four-week-old downtrend on the daily bar chart.
U.S. economic data due for release Tuesday includes the ISM New York report on business, manufacturers' shipments and inventories and the employment trends index.