Friday January 6th


US stock futures mostly flat after jobs report release

U.S. stock index futures pointed to a flat open on Friday as investors digested weaker-than-expected employment data. The U.S. economy added 156,000 jobs in December, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Economists polled by Reuters expected an increase of 178,000. The unemployment rate came in at 4.7 percent, in line with expectations. The final report of 2016 comes as the U.S. prepares for what could be a significant shift ahead. President-elect Donald Trump has promised aggressive fiscal measures including tax cuts and higher domestic spending to pull the economy out of the steady but below-trend gains it has seen during Barack Obama's eight years as president. U.S. equities closed mostly lower on Thursday, as as uncertainty over some of Trump's policies gave investors pause. Elsewhere on the data front, factory orders are scheduled for release at 10 a.m. ET. In Europe, the pan-European Stoxx-600 index was around 0.3 percent lower on Friday. In Asia, Japanese car makers were under pressure during Friday's trading after President-elect Trump took to Twitter to rebuke Toyota and its plans for a new car plant in Mexico. Shares of Toyota fell 1.69 percent, Nissan was down 2.21 percent, Honda off by 1.91 percent, Mazda Motor down 3.17 percent and Mitsubishi Motors off by 2.64 percent. The Nikkei Stock Average closed down 66.36 points, or 0.34 percent, at 19,454.33, but posted a 1.7 percent gain for the week. South Korea's Kospi gained 7.17 points, or 0.35 percent, to 2,049.12. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index was flat in late afternoon trade. Chinese mainland shares declined, with the Shanghai composite closing down 11.12 points, or 0.35 percent, at 3,154.28, while the Shenzhen composite lost 17.44 points, or 0.87 percent, at 1,988.13. Oil prices edged higher on Friday as signs of output cuts by OPEC members met with lingering concern that other producers could try to shirk their share of planned decreases aimed at curbing global oversupply. Brent crude futures, the benchmark for international oil prices, were trading at $57.27 per barrel at 8:35 a.m. ET (1335 GMT), up 38 cents from the previous close. In the United States, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $54.13 a barrel, 37 cents above their last settlement. Gold slipped on Friday from a one-month high touched in the previous session, after a U.S. jobs data report showed payrolls grew by 156,000 jobs in December. Spot gold was down 0.2 percent to $1,177.61 per ounce. The metal on Thursday hit its highest since Dec. 5 at $1,184.90. U.S. gold futures were also down 0.2 percent, at $1,178.10 per ounce. The metal was still 2.3 percent higher this week, its biggest weekly rise in two months, helped by the weaker dollar and a retreat in U.S. bond yields.