Overnight: US stocks took a small step back, with the S&P 500 easing from a record close and on pace to end a two-session winning streak. US Treasury's remained on the rise, pulling down yields and signalling that investors are growing comfortable with the idea that the Federal Reserve will soon begin to scale back its bond purchases. Gold futures climbed by more than $30 an ounce, with analysts attributing the rally to short covering as investors continued to speculate whether the Federal Reserve will begin scaling back. Oil futures shot higher. European stock markets retreated after data out of China painted a mixed picture of the country's economy. Industrial-production growth slowed down, while retail sales picked up from an already robust pace. London BHP down 1.74%. Rio down 0.76%. New York BHP down 0.61%. Rio down 1.15%. LME Base metals push mainly higher.