Friday September 22nd


Wall Street futures point to a lower open after North Korea threats revive geopolitical fears

U.S. stock index futures pointed to a lower open on Friday morning, as fresh threats from North Korea revived geopolitical tensions. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said Thursday that he was considering the "highest level of hard-line countermeasure" in response to Trump's warning the U.S. would be prepared to "totally destroy" Pyongyang if forced to defend itself or its allies. On the earnings front, CarMax and Finish Line are both due to release their latest earnings figures before the bell. The Dow Jones industrial average fell for the first time in 10 days on Thursday, closing lower even after a small gain at the open took the benchmark to a new record. The Federal Reserve announced Wednesday it will begin rolling off its $4.5 trillion balance sheet starting in October. The central bank did not raise its benchmark interest rate from its current 1 percent to 1.25 percent target; however, its updated rate forecast showed another hike this year is likely. In Europe, the pan-European Stoxx-600 index was around 0.18 percent lower on Friday morning. In Asia, the Shanghai Composite in China closed down 0.15 percent, while the Nikkei in Japan closed 0.25 percent lower. In oil markets, Brent crude traded at around $56.26 a barrel on Friday morning, down 0.27 percent, while U.S. crude was around $50.50 a barrel, down 0.08 percent. Oil prices gyrated on Friday morning as the market waited to see whether major oil producers would support an extension to output cuts beyond March. Ministers from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries are scheduled to meet in Vienna on Friday morning. Gold rebounded from a four-week low on Friday as the latest twist in tensions between the United States and North Korea prompted investors to seek safe-haven assets. Spot gold was up 0.4 percent at $1,296.41 an ounce, as of 0643 GMT, having hit a four-week low of $1,287.61 in the previous session. Bullion was down 1.7 percent for the week and was headed for a second weekly decline. U.S. gold futures for December delivery climbed 0.4 percent to $1,299.80 an ounce.