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Stocks May Come Under Pressure In Early Trading - U.S. Commentary


Stocks are likely to come under pressure in early trading on Friday after showing a lack of direction over the two previous sessions. The major index futures are currently pointing to a lower open for the markets, with the Dow futures down by 105 points.

The downward momentum on Wall Street comes amid concerns about rising tensions over the U.S. and Turkey due to the Turkish detention of U.S. pastor Andrew Brunson.

The Turkish lira has shown a sharp decline to a record low, contributing to considerable weakness in the overseas markets.

In response, Turkish President Recep Erdogan has urged Turks to sell dollars and gold and buy the lira.

"There are various campaigns being carried out. Don't heed them," Erdogan said. "Don't forget, if they have their dollars, we have our people, our God."

In U.S. economic news, the Labor Department released a report showing a modest increase in consumer prices in the month of July.

The Labor Department said its consumer price index rose by 0.2 percent in July after inching up by 0.1 percent in June. The increase in prices matched economist estimates.

Excluding food and energy prices, the core consumer price index also edged up by 0.2 percent in July, matching the increases seen in the two previous months as well as expectations.

Following the mixed performance seen on Wednesday, stocks continued to show a lack of direction during trading on Thursday. The major averages once again spent the day bouncing back and forth across the unchanged line.

The major averages ended the day mixed. While the Nasdaq inched up 3.46 points or less than a tenth of a percent to 7,891.78, the Dow fell 74.52 points or 0.3 percent to 25,509.23 and the S&P 500 edged down 4.12 points or 0.1 percent to 2,853.58.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly lower during trading on Friday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index tumbled by 1.3 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index dropped by 0.8 percent.

The major European markets have also moved to the downside on the day. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index has fallen by 0.7 percent, the French CAC 40 Index is down by 1.4 percent and the German DAX Index is down by 1.8 percent.

In commodities trading, crude oil futures are climbing $0.43 to $67.24 a barrel after dipping $0.13 to $66.81 a barrel on Thursday. Meanwhile, after slipping $1.10 to $1,219.90 an ounce in the previous session, gold futures are inching up $0.30 to $1,220.20 an ounce.

On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 111.09 yen compared to the 111.08 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Thursday. Against the euro, the dollar is valued at $1.1453 compared to yesterday's $1.1527.

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