Friday May 18th


Futures point to higher open amid US-China trade talks

U.S. stock index futures futures pointed to higher open on Friday morning, as investors continued to monitor developments in U.S.-China trade negotiations. At around 7 a.m. ET, Dow Jones industrial average futures rose 77 points, indicating a higher implied open of 77.02 points. Nasdaq 100 and S&P 500 futures also indicated an upbeat start to the session for their respective markets. The moves in premarket trade come amid elevated trade tensions between the world's two largest economies. The U.S. and China kicked off the second round of trade talks on Thursday, in the hope of averting a global trade war. U.S. stocks closed lower in the previous session after President Donald Trump indicated an effort to diffuse tensions between the U.S. and China may not be successful. The Dow Jones industrial average ended the session off by more than 50 points, while the Nasdaq and S&P 500 also dipped amid a decline in the tech sector. On the corporate front, Campbell Soup and Deere were both expected to release their latest figures shortly before the opening bell on Friday. Asian shares mostly closed higher on Friday, shrugging off the soggy close seen on Wall Street as investors digested the latest over U.S.-China trade developments. Japanese markets closed higher after the release of core consumer price index data, which slightly missed expectations. The Nikkei 225 added 0.4 percent, or 91.99 points, to finish at 22,930.36 and the broader Topix edged higher by 0.38 percent. Elsewhere, the Kospi tacked on 0.5 percent to end at 2,460.65. Greater China markets were in positive territory. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index advanced 0.61 percent by 3:05 p.m. HK/SIN, with mainland stock indexes also gaining. The Shanghai composite closed sharply higher, rising 1.23 percent to 3,193.05, and the Shenzhen composite added 0.33 percent. Oil prices rose on Friday, boosted by strong demand, looming sanctions on Iran, plummeting Venezuelan production and Nigerian disruptions. Brent crude futures rose 51 cents to $79.81 a barrel by 8:26 a.m. ET (1226 GMT), set for a sixth straight week of gains. The international benchmark broke through $80 for the first time since November 2014 on Thursday, but gave up nearly all of the day's gains in afternoon trading. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures were at $71.53 a barrel, up 4 cents and set for a third straight week of increase. Gold prices dipped on Friday, weighed down by a firmer dollar, but some traders said signs pointed to a rebound. Spot gold was down about 0.11 percent at $1,288.56 per ounce at 8:20 a.m. ET, after hitting its lowest since Dec. 27 in the previous session at $1,285.41. The metal was heading for its biggest weekly decline since early December. U.S. gold futures for June delivery were 0.13 percent lower at $1,287.70.