Wednesday October 3rd


Dow set to rise 100 points after ADP report easily tops expectations

U.S. stock-index futures ticked higher ahead of Wednesday's open after the release of better-than-expected jobs data. Around 8:20 a.m. ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures rose 105 points, indicating a gain of 126.06 points at the open. S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures also pointed to solid gains to start off the day. Private payrolls increased by 230,000 in September — the most since February — according to a report from ADP and Moody's Analytics. Economists polled by Refinitiv (formerly Thomson Reuters) expected a gain of 185,000. The report is often seen as a preview to the government's nonfarm payrolls report, which is set for release Friday morning. Other data scheduled for release include the ISM non-manufacturing index at 10 a.m. ET. A slew of Federal Reserve members are due to speak Wednesday, including Fed Chair Jerome Powell, who is due to appear at The Atlantic Festival in Washington DC. Another important speech will come from Governor Lael Brainard, who will be in Chicago at the FedPayments Improvement Community Forum. Elsewhere, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella is expected to take part in a moderated discussion at The Economic Club of Chicago (ECC). Investors are also keeping abreast of political developments. While the news that Canada agreed a new trade deal with the U.S. and Mexico — the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) — on Sunday has lifted market sentiment, investors remain on edge over the ongoing trade spat between the U.S. and China. Meantime, investors will be keeping a close eye on the U.S. administration. On Tuesday, it emerged that New York state tax officials were looking into allegations, detailed in The New York Times, about President Donald Trump and his family's business dealings. Asia markets were mostly lower on Wednesday. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index saw a partial recovery from its earlier losses but remained lower by around 0.2 percent as of 3:10 p.m. The Nikkei 225 slipped by 0.66 percent to close at 24,110.96, while the Topix index fell by 1.17 percent to end the trading day at 1,802.73. Markets in China and South Korea were closed for a public holiday. Oil prices were firm on Wednesday on expectations of tighter markets once U.S. sanctions target Iran's petroleum industry from next month, although a strong dollar and rising U.S. crude supply curbed gains. Brent crude oil futures were at $84.86 per barrel at 0340 GMT, up 6 cents from their last close. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up just 1 cent at $75.24 a barrel. Gold prices touched a one-week high on Wednesday as the dollar softened and demand for the safe-haven metal got a boost on concerns surrounding Italy's plans to tackle budgetary deficit. Risk appetite was hit after European Union (EU) officials expressed concerns about Italy's budget plan, which would widen the deficit significantly. The deficit blowout revived fears of the eurozone debt crisis. However, the debt fears were tempered on reports that Italy will cut its budget deficit at a faster pace than expected. Spot gold was up 0.2 percent at $1,205.66, as of 0505 GMT. Earlier in the session, the bullion touched a one-week high of $1208.31. It gained 1.3 percent on Tuesday in its biggest one-day percentage gain since Aug. 24. U.S. gold futures climbed 0.2 percent to $1,209.50 an ounce.