Friday January 20th


US stock futures point to higher open as Wall Street readies itself for Trump

U.S. stock index futures pointed to a higher open on Friday as traders eyed the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump, which is now just hours away. Trump will deliver his inauguration speech later today and traders will be keenly anticipating what he will say — and how he says it — as he speaks to the nation as president for the first time. It's more likely, however, that the president-elect will gloss over details in his speech whilst at the same time sending a strong message for change. In oil markets Friday, Brent crude was around $54.93 a barrel, up 1.42 percent, while U.S. crude was at $51.98 a barrel, up 1.19 percent. On the earnings front, General Electric posted mixed quarterly results. SunTrust also posted fourth-quarter results. In Europe, the pan European Stoxx 600 Index was around 0.1 percent lower on Friday. Asian markets were a mixed bag on Friday after China's latest set of economic data suggest the economy is recovering, even as risk sentiment sours ahead of Donald Trump's inauguration. Mainland Chinese markets were in the green: the Shanghai composite closed up 0.69 percent or 21.5 points at 3,122.8 and the Shenzhen composite finished 1.52 percent or 28.3 points higher at 1,885.8. Japan's Nikkei 225 wavered between negative and positive territories ahead of the president-elect's inauguration, to close up 0.34 percent or 65.7 points at 19,137.9. Gold prices dipped on Friday as investors expect U.S. President-elect Donald Trump to calm markets with a return to conciliatory language in his inaugural address. Spot gold was down 0.5 percent at $1,199.09 per ounce, while U.S. gold futures fell 0.2 percent to $1,199.50.