Friday August 25th


Futures point to a slightly higher open on Wall Street, as investors await fresh remarks from Jackson Hole

U.S. stock index futures pointed to a slightly higher open on Friday, as investors continued to focus their attention on the monetary policy symposium at Jackson Hole. Friday marks the second day of the 2017 Economic Policy Symposium on "Fostering a Dynamic Global Economy" at Jackson Hole, where leading central bankers are meeting. As part of this three-day event, both Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen and European Central Bank President Mario Draghi are both set to deliver remarks on Friday at the symposium, with investors watching the event closely for any indications when it comes to the outlook of each central bank's monetary policy program. In data news on Friday, durable goods is set to come out at 8.30 a.m. ET, while on the earnings front, Big Lots is set to report its latest figures before the bell. Looking to commodities, oil prices ticked higher in morning trade as the U.S. petroleum sector got ready to deal with the wrath of Hurricane Harvey. The impact Hurricane Harvey could have on the U.S. may have a ripple effect when it comes to major companies and their performance. At 6.00 a.m. ET, U.S. crude hovered around $47.74 per barrel, while Brent stood at $52.36. In Europe, stocks were posting solid gains in early trade, while markets in Asia finished the final weekday of trade on a relatively positive note. Japan's Nikkei 225 rose 0.51 percent, or 98.84 points, to close at 19,452.61, with gains in automakers, trading houses and financials driving the broader rise in the index. Across the Korean strait, the Kospi erased earlier losses and gained 0.11 percent, or 2.67 points, to close at 2,378.51. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index rose 1.21 percent by 3:12 p.m. HK/SIN as markets cheered strong earnings posted by several corporates after the market close on Thursday. On the mainland, the Shanghai Composite jumped 1.84 percent, or 60.1524 points, to close at 3,331.6641 and the Shenzhen Composite added 1.039 percent, or 19.6457 points, to end at 1,910.1301. Gold was steady on Friday, marking time ahead of speeches by U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen and European Central Bank President Mario Draghi later in the day, in case they give any new steer on monetary policy. Spot gold was flat at $1,287.20 an ounce, after slipping nearly 0.3 percent in the previous session. U.S. gold futures were unchanged at $1,292.30 per ounce.