Friday July 1st


US futures point to flat open ahead of Fourth of July weekendUS futures point to flat open ahead of Fourth of July weekendUS futures point to flat open ahead of Fourth of July weekendUS futures point to flat open ahead of Fourth of July weekendUS futures

U.S. stock-index futures indicated a flat open on Friday as traders eyed the release of a host of data ahead of the Fourth of July weekend. Markit PMI data is set to come out at 9:45 a.m. ET, with ISM manufacturing data and construction spending due to be released at 10 a.m. Vehicle sales data is also set to come out today. Loretta Mester, Cleveland Fed President, is due to speak at 11 a.m. ET in London at the European Economics and Financial Centre. U.S. stocks rose sharply on Thursday, extending a post-Brexit rally, with the Dow Jones industrial average advancing about 235 point, while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq composite rose more than 1 percent. In Europe, the pan European Stoxx 600 Index was up 0.65 percent on Friday. Asia markets finished mostly higher on the first day of the new quarter, tracking global stocks' third day of recovery from the post-Brexit sell-off despite a slew of downbeat data from China and Japan. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 closed up 106.56 points, or 0.68 percent, at 15,682.48, while across the Korean Strait, the Kospi ended higher by 16.97 points, or 0.86 percent, at 1,987.32. Chinese mainland markets were mixed, with the Shanghai composite ending up 0.11 percent, or 3.2169 points, at 2932.823 and the Shenzhen composite slipping 0.178 percent, or 3.515 points, to 1970.724, largely ignoring a slowdown in China's manufacturing sector according to an official and a private survey. Markets in Hong Kong were closed to commemorate the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Establishment Day. Oil prices fell on Friday as focus returned to oversupply as production from Nigeria and Canada rebounded and OPEC production reached a record high in June. Despite Friday's losses, oil prices were on track for the first weekly gain in three weeks after a bullish run this week on strong buying following Britain's vote in favor of leaving the European Union. Global benchmark Brent crude futures were down 19 cents at $49.52 a barrel by 7:31 a.m. ET (1131 GMT). U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was trading at $48.16, down 17 cents day on day. Gold rose 1 percent on Friday and was headed for its fifth weekly gain, supported by a weaker dollar and prospects for further monetary policy easing in the wake of Britain's vote to leave the European Union. Spot gold rose to a session high of $1,334.05 an ounce, and was up 1.3 percent at $1,337.60 an ounce. The metal gained 8.8 percent in June, its biggest monthly rise since February.