Wednesday June 7th


Futures point to slightly higher open as Wall Street awaits key political events

U.S. stock index futures pointed to a slightly higher open Wednesday, as investors prepare themselves for a deluge of news out of the political and economic spheres. On Thursday, British citizens will head to the polling stations to vote in the nation's general election, with investors currently eyeing the latest polls and moves in sterling for any indications on what the result might be. Ahead of this, political parties are in their final stretch of campaigning on Wednesday, with each group hoping to secure a significant number of parliamentary seats in the election. In the U.S., the former FBI director James Comey is expected to testify on Thursday in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee, marking his first public comment since being dismissed by the U.S. president. Thursday will also mark the European Central Bank's latest monetary policy meeting, where investors will be examining President Mario Draghi's rhetoric, when it comes to the future of ECB policy.In earnings news, Brown-Forman and Navistar posted quarterly results before the bell. DAVIDsTEA is expected to report after the close. Meanwhile, consumer credit is slated to come out at 3 p.m. ET. Also, mortgage applications rose 7.1 percent last week as rates hit their lowest levels since the election. In the commodities sphere, crude futures were under pressure as investors remained on edge over concerns of a glut in the market. U.S. crude and Brent were both lower at 8:12 a.m. ET Wednesday, trading at $47.88 and $49.74 per barrel respectively. In Europe, bourses eked out slight gains, while Asia-Pacific markets finished trade mixed. The Nikkei 225 closed the session up by 0.02 percent or 4.72 points at 19,984.62. South Korea's Kospi re-opened after a public holiday to trade lower by 0.36 percent or 8.48 points, finishing the session at 2,360.14. The S&P/ASX 200 reversed earlier gains to finish flat at 5,667.2. Markets in greater China were mixed, with Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index trading 0.17 percent down. The Shanghai Composite surged 1.24 percent or 38.4025 points to close at 3,140.5285 and the Shenzhen Composite rose 2.194 percent or 39.7315 points to end at 1,850.5331. Gold steadied near seven-month highs on Wednesday with sentiment still bullish due to a lower dollar and political uncertainty created by an election in Britain and a testimony by a former FBI director to the U.S. Senate. Spot gold was down 0.3 percent at $1,290.01 an ounce. On Tuesday, it gained 1.1 percent to hit its highest level since November last year at $1,295.97. U.S. gold futures slipped 0.35 percent to $1,292.90.