Thursday August 4th


US futures higher after Bank of England cuts rate

U.S. stock index futures indicated a higher open on Thursday as traders focused on a host of earnings while digesting a rate cut by the Bank of England. Market watchers had anticipated the BOE rate cut, its first since 2009. "Not only did the BoE cut interest rates by 25 bps as fully expected, they expanded sovereign QE by 60 billion to 435 billion from 375 billion pounds and they are adding a corporate bond buying program but that is modest, just 10 billion pounds over the next 1 ½ years. They also added a short term lending program for banks to cushion the impact of low rates," Peter Boockvar, chief market analyst at The Lindsey Group, said in a note to clients. "Bottom line, the BoE is now falling further into the same trap as the Fed, BoJ and ECB and for some reason hoping to see a different result," he said. Activision Blizzard, Kraft Heinz, LinkedIn and El Pollo Loco are among companies set to report after the bell. On the data front, weekly jobless claims came in slightly above estimates at 269,000. Factory orders are set to come out at 10 a.m. In Europe, the pan European Stoxx 600 Index was up 0.7 percent on Thursday. In Asia, Japan's Nikkei closed 1.07 percent higher on Thursday while in China, the Shanghai Composite closed 0.14 percent higher. Oil prices stabilized near $41 a barrel on Thursday after advancing in the previous session as overproduction and large volumes of unsold crude and ample refined products around the world weighed on markets. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were trading up 1 cent at $40.84 per barrel at 8:14 a.m ET (1214 GMT), after rising to $41.41 earlier and settling 3.3 percent higher in Wednesday's session. International Brent crude futures were trading at $42.95 a barrel, down 15 cents. They hit a session peak of $43.65 earlier. Gold prices turned higher on Thursday after the Bank of England cut interest rates for the first time since 2009, though gains were muted by strength in the dollar after the previous day's upbeat U.S. jobs data. In addition to the cut in rates to a record low 0.25 percent, the BOE said it would buy 60 billion pounds of government debt to ease the blow from Britain's June 23 vote to leave the European Union. Spot gold was up 0.3 percent at $1,362.10 an ounce, off an earlier low of $1,348.50, while U.S. gold futures for December delivery were up $4.20 an ounce at $1,368.90.