Wednesday June 28th


US stock futures jump after ECB walks back Draghi hawkish remarks

U.S. stock index futures pointed to a higher open on Wednesday after the European Central Bank tried to walk back comments made by its president, Mario Draghi. Nasdaq futures erased earlier losses to trade 15 points higher, while S&P and Dow futures climbed 6.5 points and 45 points. The ECB said it sees the market as misjudging Draghi's remarks from Tuesday, in which he said "the threat of deflation is gone and reflationary forces are at play." Nasdaq futures had dropped about half a percent earlier. Tech stocks were under pressure Tuesday after EU regulators hit Google with a 2.4 billion euro ($2.7 billion) fine, stating that the tech giant had violated antitrust rules when it came to its online shopping practices. On the data front, mortgage applications fell 6 percent last week. International trade in goods data are also due at 8:30 a.m. ET, and pending home sales at 10 a.m. ET. Politically, investors will be looking for any news out of Washington, after Senate Republicans announced Tuesday that they would delay a vote on the Obamacare replacement bill until after July 4. Meanwhile, in commodities, oil prices were under pressure on Wednesday, after an API report showed U.S. crude inventories had risen by 851,000 barrels in the previous week, according to Reuters. Glut concerns capped price gains in morning trade, with U.S. crude trading around $43.99 at 8:31 a.m. ET, while Brent was at $46.51. In the central bank sphere, investors are likely to be digesting the comments made by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen on Tuesday, when she told an audience in London that she did not expect to see another financial crisis during her lifetime. In Europe, bourses were trading in the red, while Asia-Pacific markets finished trade on a negative note. The Nikkei 225 declined 0.47 percent, or 94.68 points, to close at 20,130.41, and South Korea's Kospi was off by 0.39 percent, or 9.39 points, to end at 2,382.56. Markets in greater China trended lower. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index was down by 0.54 percent at 3:03 p.m. HK/SIN. The Shanghai Composite fell 0.54 percent, or 17.2936 points, to close at 3,173.9033 and the Shenzhen Composite declined 0.799 percent, or 15.1641 points, to end at 1,883.3713. Gold prices rose on Wednesday as the dollar weakened and stock markets fell after a delayed U.S. healthcare bill increased doubts about President Donald Trump's ability to pass economic stimulus measures. The dollar sank to its lowest since November as Japan's yen strengthened and the euro hit a one-year high when European Central Bank President Mario Draghi hinted that stimulus could be trimmed this year. A weaker dollar makes dollar-denominated bullion cheaper for holders of other currencies and can increase demand. Spot gold was up 0.45 percent at $1,252.60 an ounce, while U.S. gold futures were 0.5 percent higher at $1,253.10 an ounce.