Friday August 26th


US futures point to higher open ahead of Yellen

U.S. stock index futures indicated a higher open on Friday as traders anticipated Fed Chair Janet Yellen's speech in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Yellen is set to speak at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City Economic Symposium at 10 a.m. ET, and traders will be watching as to whether she gives any indications on rate hikes. On the data front, the second read on second-quarter GDP showed growth of 1.1 percent. In oil markets, Brent crude traded at $49.56 a barrel, down 0.2 percent, while U.S. crude was around $47.31 a barrel, down 0.04 percent. In Europe, the pan European Stoxx 600 Index was down 0.1 percent on Friday. In Asia, Japan's Nikkei closed 1.18 percent lower on Friday, while in China the Shanghai Composite closed near flat, 0.07 percent higher. Gold edged higher on Friday as markets braced for a speech by Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen later in the session, which is being closely watched for clues on the direction of U.S. interest rates. Spot gold was up 0.5 percent at $1,328.86 an ounce, while U.S. gold futures for December delivery were up $7.90 an ounce at $1,332.50. The spot prices hit a four-week low on Thursday of $1,317.46 an ounce.