Friday December 30th


Wall Street points to a higher open on the last trading day of 2016

U.S. stock index futures pointed to a higher open on Friday, with data and oil set to be on the agenda as traders look ahead to the start of 2017. Hoping to end 2016 on a high note, all major U.S. indexes pointed to a slightly higher open early on Friday, however hopes of the Dow Jones Industrial Average topping 20,000 before the year ends remains slim, after it closed lower on Thursday, at 19,819.78. On the last trading day of the year, Friday will see the release of the latest Chicago PMI data, due out at 9.45 a.m. ET. No bond auctions are set to take place by the U.S. Treasury. On the oil front, crude futures posted slight gains on Friday, as investors wait patiently for the OPEC, non-OPEC supply deal to kick in, due to start January 1, 2017. WTI was posting gains, trading around $54.00 at 5.15 a.m. ET, while Brent was at $57.10 per barrel. According to Reuters, oil prices are on track for their greatest annual percentage gain since 2009. Amid another light year-end trading season, European stocks kicked off its final trading day of 2016 by trading lower on Friday morning.Meanwhile Asia-Pacific indexes closed mixed to slightly higher overnight. Stateside, U.S. indexes ended their previous session lower. For the year, China's Shenzhen composite was Asia's worst-performing index, down nearly 15 percent, while Pakistan's Karachi All-Share Index was the biggest winner with gains of 45 percent. Japan's Nikkei 225 finished 0.16 percent, extending losses after Thursday's decline, but still managed to close above 19,033 points, its first five-year run of rises since 1990, said Shoko Tani, research analyst at Nomura, in a note. For the year, the Nikkei eked out a modest 0.4 percent gain. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index jumped 1.1 percent, up for the third straight session, with financials AIA and ICBC both nearly 2 percent higher. The index was on track to finish 2016 with a 0.4 percent rise. Taiwanese shares rallied 1.1 percent thanks to near 1 percent increases in heavyweights TSMC and UMC; the benchmark index ended the year up 11 percent . The Shanghai composite finished up 0.24 percent at 3,103 points, notching a 12 percent loss for the year. The yuan was Asia's worst-performing currency in 2016, with a 6.6 percent loss against the greenback. Gold was set to close out 2016 up more than 9 percent for its first annual gain in four years, edging higher in the final trading session of the year on Friday on the back of a weaker dollar. Spot gold was up 0.09 percent at $1,159.29 an ounce, having earlier hit a more than two-week high of $1,163.14 an ounce. Gold is up about 2.5 percent for the week and poised to register its best weekly gain since early June.

We wish you all a happy 2017, may all your wishes become reality