(Kitco News) – World stock markets were mostly firmer overnight. U.S. stock indexes are also pointed toward modestly higher openings when the New York day session begins. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen delivered a speech Tuesday that sounded an arguably hawkish tone on U.S. monetary policy, and an upbeat tone on the U.S. economy. The world equity markets took this as a positive sign that a strengthening U.S. economy and rising inflation will help the other major industrialized countries' economic growth prospects, as well as reignite some wanted inflation.
Gold prices are lower in pre-U.S.-day-session trading Wednesday. The surging U.S. dollar this week is a bearish element for the precious metals markets, as well as other raw commodity markets.
The U.S. dollar bulls are on a roll this week, as the U.S. dollar index is higher and hit a five-week high overnight. A bullish head-and-shoulders bottom reversal pattern has formed on the daily bar chart for the USDX, which is a technical clue that a market bottom is in place.
Meantime, the Euro currency hit a five-week low against the U.S. dollar Wednesday. There are chart clues the Euro has put in a near-term market top.
The other key outside the market on Wednesday morning sees Nymex crude oil futures slightly lower after hitting a four-month high Tuesday. The oil bulls have the near-term technical advantage and still have some momentum. However, there are stiff chart resistance levels just overhead in the crude oil market.
U.S. economic data due for release Wednesday includes the weekly MBA mortgage applications survey, durable goods orders, pending home sales and the weekly DOE liquid energy stocks report.