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US pre-open: Futures point to positive open following Chinese data

By Iain Gilbert

Date: Friday 17 Jan 2020

US pre-open: Futures point to positive open following Chinese data

(Sharecast News) - US futures had stocks opening higher ahead of the bell on Friday following the release of some economic data out of China overnight.
As of 1235 GMT, Dow futures were up 0.23%, while S&P 500 and Nasdaq-100 futures had the indices opening 0.21% and 0.35% firmer, respectively.

The Dow closed 267.42 points stronger on Thursday, with stocks surging to new records as sentiment continued to be boosted by the US and China's signing of their 'phase one' trade agreement in the previous session.

Underlining sentiment on Friday was news that China's economy grew 6.1% in 2019, matching economists' expectations but still the slowest growth rate for the nation's economy since 1990 and a drop from 2018's 6.6% expansion.

Trade was still in focus, with the US-Canada-Mexico trade agreement being passed by the Senate on Thursday, helping markets breathe a sigh of relief yet again.

Spreadex analyst Connor Campbell said: "The US-Iran conflict made the start of 2020 unexpectedly rocky for the markets. However, this week seems to have realigned the stars for investors.

"Though doubts remain over the quality of the trade deal, the fact that a 'phase one' agreement between Washington and Beijing was finally signed ended up being enough to satisfy the Dow Jones and its American siblings."

On the data front, new housing starts and building permits data will be released at 1330 GMT, while industrial production figures were scheduled for 1415 GMT and consumer sentiment and the latest JOLTS report will follow at 1500 GMT.

In corporate news, Prudential Bancorp and Schlumberger will report earnings on Friday, while Google parent company Alphabet was also in focus after having reached a market cap of $1trn for the first time in its history.

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