Wednesday February 3rd


Futures higher after ADP jobs report; oil eyed

U.S. stock index futures pointed to a mostly higher open on Wednesday after a better-than-expected ADP jobs report and a oil bounced. ADP said private payrolls increased by 205,000 in January, above the expected 195,000. Investors will also look to U.S. services data as economists expect the ISM nonmanufacturing index will fall to 55.1, from 55.3 in December, when it is reported at 10 a.m. ET. The ISM has not been below December's level since April 2014. Any number above 50 shows expansion. There is also Markit services PMI data at 9:45 a.m. Oil prices climbed early on Wednesday, rebounding from lows seen in the Asian session after the American Petroleum Institute reported another larger–than-expected build in supply late Tuesday. Brent for April delivery was up 65 cents at $33.37 a barrel, after settling down $1.52, or 4.4 percent. U.S. crude, also known as West Texas Intermediate (WTI), rose 58 cents to $30.46, after ending the previous session down $1.74, or 5.5 percent. Wednesday marks the halfway mark of earnings season, with a host of results due including GoPro, Yum Brands, Buffalo Wild Wings, Glu Mobile, Imperva, and MDU Resources. In Europe, equities extended losses on Wednesday as investors remained cautious amid continued oil price volatility. Swiss agricultural chemicals giant Syngenta said it was to be acquired by ChemChina, in a deal that marks the largest attempted overseas acquisition by a Chinese firm. Syngenta said the deal, worth over $43 billion, is equivalent to 480 Swiss francs ($471.38) per share. Syngenta was up 6 percent in early trading. Asian stocks closed sharply lower on Wednesday, after Wall Street sold off as much as 2 percent overnight amid a plunge in oil prices. Japan's Nikkei 225 dropped over 3 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng ended over 2 percent down. Chinese markets followed rest of Asia lower, but the Shanghai composite retraced losses to close down 9.72 points, or 0.35 percent, at 2,739.84. The smaller Shenzhen composite erased its earlier losses of as much as 1.11 percent to gain 8.11 points, or 0.46 percent, to 1,737.20. U.S. stocks closed sharply lower Tuesday as renewed declines in oil prices weighed amid mixed reaction to some key earnings reports. The major averages fell 1.8 percent or more, with the Nasdaq composite underperforming, for their worst day in two weeks. Oil settled below $30 a barrel for the first time since Jan. 21. Gold stabilised just below a three-month high on Wednesday as the dollar edged lower and European shares tumbled, prompting investors to seek shelter in assets perceived as safer. Holdings of the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund (ETF), SPDR Gold Trust, climbed to their highest since November at 22.04 million ounces on Tuesday, underlining growing interest in the metal. Spot gold was at $1,128.13 an ounce at 1241 GMT, little changed from $1,128.71 late on Tuesday and within sight of that day's peak of $1,130.30, its strongest since Nov. 3.