Friday July 13th

13-07-2018

US futures fluctuate as major banks report earnings and trade woes subside

U.S. stock index futures hovered around the flatline on Friday as Wall Street looked to earnings reports from major banks. At around 7:40 a.m. ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures rose 6 points, but indicated a negative open of 7.89 points. Nasdaq 100 and the S&P 500 futures also pointed to a flat start to their respective trading sessions. While concerns about a potential broadening trade war between the U.S. and major economies keep investors on edge, Friday will see the release of a number of major corporate earnings. Before the bell, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, First Republic Bank, Infosys, and PNC Financial Services Group will publish their latest financial results. J.P. Morgan Chase reported better-than-expected earnings, sending its shares higher by 1 percent. On the data front, import prices are due out at 8:30 a.m. ET, followed by consumer sentiment at 10 a.m. ET. Elsewhere, the U.S. Federal Reserve is expected to publish its latest Monetary Policy Report to Congress. This comes prior to Fed Chair Jerome Powell's testimony next week before the House Financial Services Committee and the Senate Banking Committee. Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic will be in Virginia, taking part in a town hall chat at Northern Chapter of the Virginia Society of Certified Public Accountants in Falls Church. Elsewhere, investors will be keeping a close eye on the latest leg of President Donald Trump’s trip around Europe. On Friday, the U.S. incumbent is due to participate in a joint press conference with U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May, in addition to meeting with Queen Elizabeth II in Windsor. This comes as several protests against the U.S. president’s visit are due to take place. Asian shares closed higher on Friday, extending gains after Wall Street rebounded as technology stocks there touched all-time highs. There was also some relief coming from the lack of escalation in trade tensions between the U.S. and China. Japan led gains in the region, with the benchmark Nikkei 225 jumping 1.85 percent, or 409.39 points, to close at 22,597.35 as stocks extended Thursday's gains, with the yen weaker on the day. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index edged higher by 0.23 percent by 3:28 p.m. Mainland indexes finished the Friday session mixed, with the Shanghai composite slipping 0.22 percent to 2,831.55 but the Shenzhen composite adding 0.46 percent to end at 1,604.45. Elsewhere, South Korea's Kospi climbed 1.13 percent to close at 2,310.90 as technology and banks notched gains. Oil prices reversed earlier losses on Friday but were set for a second straight week of decline after Libyan ports reopened and on the view that Iran might still export some crude despite U.S. sanctions. Brent crude rose 19 cents to $74.64 a barrel by 8:37 a.m. ET (1237 GMT), heading for a weekly fall of around 3 percent. U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude rose 39 cents to $70.72, set for a weekly decline of around 4 percent. Gold prices slid on Friday to their lowest in more than a week as the dollar rose due to easing trade tensions and weak demand for the precious metal due to expectations of higher interest rates in the United States. Spot gold was down 0.44 percent at $1,241.24 from an earlier $1,238.90, its lowest since July 3. It has fallen about 9 percent since the middle of April. U.S. gold futures slipped 0.41 percent to $1,241.50.