Friday September 21st


Wall Street set for a positive open, building on Dow's record Thursday close

U.S. stock-index futures posted solid gains ahead of Friday's open, extending the positive run seen in the previous session on Wall Street. Around 7:05 a.m. ET, Dow futures rose 27 points, indicating a gain of 64.02 points. S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures also pointed to gains at the open. The moves in premarket trade came after Wall Street closed Thursday's session on a strong note, with the Dow soaring just over 250 points to its first record high since January. During Thursday's session, the S&P 500 also hit an all-time high, its first since August. Trade tensions between the U.S. and China continue to rattle investors after both inflicted fresh tariffs on one another earlier this week. China's commerce ministry said Thursday that it hoped the States would show sincerity in trade negotiations, Reuters reported. Also Thursday, the U.S. administration inflicted sanctions on the Chinese military for purchasing missile systems and fighter jets from Russia, according to Reuters. Data due Friday includes the latest flash U.S. composite purchasing managers' index figures, scheduled for publication at 9:45 a.m. ET. While no corporate earnings are due Friday, individual stocks news will likely keep investors alert. Twenty-First Century Fox and Comcast are heading for an auction this weekend to settle a takeover bid for British broadcaster Sky. The bidding procedure is due to kick off Friday evening and end on Saturday. Overseas, markets in Europe and Asia posted solid gains during their respective Friday sessions. Asia markets were largely positive on the final trading day of the week, following record highs on Wall Street. Japan's Nikkei 225 pared some of its earlier gains but still ended the trading week higher by 0.82 percent at 23,869.93. The Topix index also saw gains of 0.92 percent to close at 1,804.02 — its highest point in almost four months. South Korea's Kospi also saw gains of 0.68 percent to close at 2,339.17. In the Greater China region, Hong Kong's Hang Seng indexextended gains of 1.65 percent to close at 27,930.53. Meanwhile, the Shanghai Composite jumped 2.5 percent to close at 2,797.49 while the Shenzhen composite also gained 1.76 percent to 1,445.11. Oil prices rose on Friday ahead of a meeting of OPEC and other large crude exporters that will focus on production increases as U.S. sanctions restrict Iranian exports. OPEC and its allies are scheduled to gather in Algeria on Sunday to discuss how to allocate higher supply to offset the shortage of Iranian supplies. International benchmark Brent crude for November delivery was up 77 cents, or 1 percent, at $79.47 a barrel by 9:02 a.m. ET (1302 GMT). U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude rose 54 cents to $70.86 a barrel. Gold prices were steady on Friday near a one-week high as the dollar weakened on receding fears of a full-blown Sino-U.S. trade war, keeping the yellow metal on track for its first weekly gain in four. Spot gold slipped 0.2 percent to $1,203.90, after touching its highest since Sept. 13 at $1,210.01. It has risen 1.1 percent so far this week. U.S. gold futures were down 0.2 percent at $1,208.70 an ounce.