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Chinese Press Conference May Drive Early Trading On Wall Street

wallstreet oct22 13dec19 lt

Following the rally seen in the previous session, stocks may see some further upside in early trading on Friday. The major index futures are currently pointing to a higher open for the markets, with the Dow futures up by 99 points.

The markets may continue to benefit from optimism about a U.S.-China trade agreement amid reports the economic superpowers have reached a phase one deal in principle.

However, a report from CNBC says Chinese officials are set to hold a press conference regarding the trade talks just as the U.S. markets open for trading.

Reaction to the press conference is likely to drive early trading, as Beijing has thus far been silent regarding the latest reports of a trade deal.

With the focus on trade news, traders do not seem to be paying much attention to a report from the Commerce Department showing U.S. retail sales rose by much less than expected in the month of November.

The Commerce Department said retail sales edged up by 0.2 percent in November after climbing by an upwardly revised 0.4 percent in October.

Economists had expected retail sales to climb by 0.5 percent compared to the 0.3 percent increase originally reported for the previous month.

Excluding an increase in auto sales, retail sales inched up by 0.1 percent in November after rising by 0.3 percent in October. Economists had expected ex-auto sales to increase by 0.4 percent.

Meanwhile, a separate report from the Labor Department showed U.S. import prices increased in line with economist estimates in the month of November, largely reflecting a rebound in fuel prices.

The report said import prices rose by 0.2 percent in November after falling by 0.5 percent in October. The rebound in prices matched economist estimates.

The Labor Department said export prices also edged up by 0.2 percent in November after slipping by 0.1 percent in the previous month. Economists had expected export prices to inch up by 0.1 percent.

Shortly after the start of trading, the Commerce Department is scheduled to release its report on business inventories in the month of October. Inventories are expected to rise by 0.2 percent.

With traders expressing renewed optimism about a U.S.-China trade deal, stocks moved sharply higher over the course of the trading session on Thursday. The major averages fluctuated after an early rally, but the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 still ended the session at new record closing highs.

The major averages all finished the day firmly in positive territory. The Dow advanced 220.75 points or 0.8 percent to 28,132.05, the Nasdaq climbed 63.27 points or 0.7 percent to 8,717.32 and the S&P 500 jumped 26.94 points or 0.9 percent to 3,168.57.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved sharply higher during trading on Friday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index soared by 2.6 percent, while China's Shanghai Composite Index surged up by 1.8 percent.

The major European markets have also shown strong moves to the upside on the day. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index has jumped by 1.8 percent, the French CAC 40 Index and the German DAX Index are both up by 1 percent.

In commodities trading, crude oil futures are climbing $0.64 to $59.82 a barrel after rising $0.42 to $59.18 a barrel on Thursday. Meanwhile, after falling $2.70 to$1,472.30 an ounce in the previous session, gold futures are inching up $1.90 to $1,474.20 an ounce.

On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 109.54 yen versus the 109.31 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Thursday. Against the euro, the dollar is valued at $1.1170 compared to yesterday's $1.1130.

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