Tuesday March 7th


Futures point to lower open on Wall Street; Trump's economic policies in focus

U.S. stock index futures pointed to a lower open on Tuesday amidst growing concerns over U.S. President Donald Trump's ability to implement economic policies. The long-awaited legislation to repeal and replace Obamacare was unveiled on Monday by U.S. Republicans although it was greeted with immediate criticism from the Democrats. On the data front, Tuesday will see trade deficit and consumer credit for January released at 8.30 a.m ET and 3.00 p.m ET respectively. On the earnings front, Dick's Sporting Goods posted fourth-quarter earnings and revenue before the bell on Tuesday that beat Wall Street's expectations. Same store sales for the quarter also beat estimates.  Brown-Forman is also scheduled to report before the bell. H&R Block, Aerovironment and Urban Outfitters are all due to report after the market close. Market expectations for a U.S. interest rate hike were at 86.4 percent Monday, according to the CME Group's FedWatch tool. The Fed's monetary policy committee is set to meet between March 14 and 15. In Europe, the pan-European Stoxx 600 index was around 0.1 percent lower on Tuesday. In Asia, the Shanghai Composite in China closed 0.27 percent higher, while the Nikkei in Japan closed 0.18 percent lower. In oil markets, Brent crude traded at around $56.27 a barrel on Tuesday, up 0.48 percent, while U.S. crude was around $53.47 a barrel, up 0.51 percent. Gold hit a three-week low on Tuesday as expectations for a U.S. interest rate hike this month weighed, but moves were muted as markets awaited U.S. data this week and more pointers on the Trump administration's economic plans. The precious metal has fallen in five out of the last six sessions as expectations for the Federal Reserve to push ahead with a U.S. rate increase this month ramped up. Spot gold was down 0.22 percent at $1,222.89 an ounce, having earlier touched its lowest since Feb. 15 at $1,222.29 an ounce. U.S. gold futures for April delivery fell 0.20 percent to $1,223.