Wednesday April 10th

10-04-2019

Dow futures slightly higher ahead of inflation data, Fed minutes

U.S. stock index futures were slightly higher Wednesday morning, as market participants await inflation data and minutes from the Federal Reserve’s latest meeting. At around 8:30 a.m. ET, Dow futures indicated a positive open of more than 40 points. Futures on the S&P and Nasdaq were both also slightly higher. The Federal Reserve will release the minutes of its March monetary policy meeting later in the session. Last month, the U.S. central bank decided to maintain interest rates and hold off an any further increases this year. Meanwhile, global economic growth was a sore point for risk asset markets. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) cut its forecast for world economic growth this year, saying a slowdown could force world leaders to coordinate stimulus measures. The fund said it expects the world economy to grow by 3.3% this year. That’s down from its previous outlook of 3.5%, which was also a downgrade. On the data front, U.S. consumer prices increased by the most in more than a year in March, but underlying inflation remained benign against the backdrop of slowing domestic and global economic growth. The Labor Department said on Wednesday its Consumer Price Index rose 0.4%, boosted by increases in the costs of food, gasoline and rents. That was the biggest advance since January 2018 and followed a 0.2% gain in February. In corporate news, Delta Air Lines and MSC Industrial are both set to release their latest quarterly results shortly before the bell. Bed Bath & Beyond is set to publish its earnings after market close. Stocks in Asia were mixed on Wednesday amid fresh concerns over the outlook for the global economy. Mainland Chinese stocks were largely unchanged on the day, with the Shanghai composite rising fractionally to 3,241.93 and the Shenzhen component was mostly flat at 10,435.08. The Shenzhen composite declined 0.209 percent to 1,779.28. The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong declined 0.15 percent in its final hour of trading. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 declined 0.53 percent to close at 21,687.57. The Topix index also fell 0.69 percent to finish at 1,607.66. South Korea’s Kospi. Oil prices rose on Wednesday towards five-month highs hit the previous day as OPEC production cuts and U.S. sanctions on Iran and Venezuela continued to tighten supply, though economic worries increased. International benchmark Brent futures were at $70.85 per barrel at 8:19 a.m. ET, up 24 cents, or 0.34%, from their last close. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures were at $64.31 per barrel, up 33 cents, or 0.52%. Gold prices edged lower on Wednesday, but traded near the previous session’s two-week peak as equities slipped after the International Monetary Fund (IMF) cut its global growth outlook and on trade tensions between the United States and Europe. Spot gold dipped 0.1 percent to $1,302.56 per ounce as of 0749 GMT, after touching its highest since March 28 at $1,306.09 in the previous session. U.S. gold futures were also down about 0.1 percent at $1,307.60 an ounce.