Wednesday August 29th


Wall Street set to open higher as US-Canada trade talks resume

U.S. stock index futures posted gains ahead of Wednesday's open, as investors awaited news surrounding trade talks between the States, Mexico and Canada. Around 7:35 a.m. ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures rose 6 points, indicating a gain of 24.98 points at the open, with S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures pointing to an upbeat start to the day. Markets in Asia and Europe tried for gains Wednesday, as market participants kept abreast of news surrounding a trade agreement between the U.S. and other major economies. Japan's Nikkei 225 ended the trading day up by 0.15 percent at 22,848.22 after hitting an earlier high of 22,968.18. The mainland China markets ended the trading day in negative territory. The Shanghai composite fell by 0.31 percent to close around 2,769.30 while the Shenzhen composite fell 0.56 percent to close at 1,489.29. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index pared earlier losses to trade near flat as of 3:00 p.m. South Korea's Kospi also closed higher by 0.26 percent to end at 2,309.03. On Monday, the States secured a new trade deal with Mexico, which would replace the current NAFTA agreement and last for 16 years. Canada re-joined talks with the two nations on Tuesday, with Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland telling reporters that Mexico's "difficult" concessions to the States earlier this week would help lead the way for productive discussions between all the countries this week; according to Reuters. On Tuesday, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told CNBCthat he was optimistic on striking a deal with Canada, but added that the White House was ready to go forward with Mexico alone, if it isn't executed. The U.S. is hoping an agreement with Canada will be made before the week draws to a close. More economic data are set to be published Wednesday. An update to second-quarter gross domestic product came in at 4.2%, slightly hotter than estimates that matched the initial reading at 4.1%, which represented the fastest pace of expansion in almost four years. Elsewhere, pending home sales figures due out at 10 a.m. ET. On the earnings front, Brown-Forman, American Eagle Outfitters, Chico's FAS, Dick's Sporting Goods,, PVH and Guess are set to publish their latest financial figures. Oil prices rose on Wednesday, supported by news of a fall in Iranian crude supplies as U.S. sanctions deter buyers, but gains were limited by evidence of a rise in U.S. inventories. Benchmark Brent crude oil rose 42 cents to $76.37 a barrel by 8:48 a.m. ET (1248 GMT). U.S. light crude was 46 cents higher at $68.99 a barrel. Gold prices edged higher on Wednesday after the previous session's sharp fall, but rising U.S. interest rates and lingering Sino-U.S. trade tensions continued to weigh on the market with investors selling the metal at small rallies. Spot gold was up 0.2 percent at $1,203.51 an ounce. Prices hit their highest since Aug. 10 at $1,214.28 on Tuesday, but closed 0.8 percent lower as U.S. Treasurys rose after the United States and Mexico struck a trade deal.