Thursday September 28th


US futures point to a lower open after Trump announces tax plans

U.S. stock index futures pointed to a marginally lower open on Thursday morning, after U.S. President Donald Trump unveiled a massive overhaul to the tax system. Trump announced the biggest tax reform for the U.S. in thirty years on Wednesday, proposing tax cuts for most citizens. However, the plan received some criticism for favoring the wealthier and raised doubts over its impact on the country's deficit. U.S. bond yields jumped on the news and the dollar rose too though the latter lost some gains in late morning European trading. The final read on U.S. second-quarter gross domestic product showed a 3.1 percent increase. Weekly jobless claims rose slightly to 272,000. In the corporate world, Vail Resorts is set to release its latest earnings figures before the bell and KB Home will report after the bell. In Europe, markets were mixed on Trump's plans and monetary-policy comments. European Central Bank Chief Economist Peter Praet told a conference in Berlin that the ECB will not discuss an exit from stimulus but a policy recalibration. In oil markets, prices were slightly higher on growing tensions in Iraq. Brent crude traded at around $58.40 a barrel on Thursday morning, up 0.8 percent, while U.S. crude was being sold at $52.74 a barrel, up by more than 1 percent. Asian indexes closed mixed on Thursday, after U.S. equities advanced and the greenback rose following the unveiling of a long-awaited tax reform plan stateside. The Nikkei 225 added 0.47 percent, or 96.06 points, to close at 20,363.11 as most financials and manufacturing names notched gains. Across the Korean Strait, the Kospi edged up 0.02 percent to close at 2,373.14. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index was under pressure, falling 0.41 percent by 3:26 p.m. HK/SIN. Mainland markets only saw moderate moves. The Shanghai Composite shed 0.15 percent to close at 3,340.1155 and the Shenzhen Composite eased 0.227 percent to end at 1,974.7827. Gold fell to over one-month lows on Thursday as the dollar rose on expectations of a U.S interest rate hike in December, while platinum was trading at a discount to palladium for the first time since 2001. Spot gold was down 0.2 percent at $1,278.36 per ounce at 0607 GMT, after hitting its lowest since Aug. 16 earlier in the session, as strong U.S economic data took sheen off the yellow metal. U.S. gold futures for December delivery fell 0.5 percent to $1,281.30.