Monday January 8th


US stock futures slip as rally takes a breather

U.S. stocks futures pointed to a slightly negative open on Monday, as the market's latest rally took a breather. Dow Jones industrial average futures fell 9 points, while S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures declined 4.5 points ant 10.25 points, respectively. At the end of the first trading week of 2018, U.S. stocks finished Friday on a strong note, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average soaring more than 200 points, with both the Dow and Nasdaq showing their best start of the year in over a decade. Wall Street outperformed in the previous session, despite the latest nonfarm payrolls data coming in below expectations. In December, the U.S. economy added 148,000 jobs, compared to market estimates of 190,000, according to a Reuters poll. More data is set to be released Monday with consumer credit due out at 3 p.m. ET. Investors will be poring over the latest comments by leading Federal Reserve members. Elsewhere, concerns surrounding geopolitical tensions will continue to linger at the back of investors' minds, as tensions between North Korea and the West rumble on. Asian shares closed higher on Monday, following the strong lead from Wall Street in the last session. With few data releases expected during the session, many investors awaited earnings releases from regional corporates later in the week. South Korea's Kospi finished the session 0.63 percent higher at 2,513.28 after slipping below the flat line earlier in the day. Greater China markets traded higher on the day. The Hang Seng Index reversed early losses to inch higher by 0.16 percent at 3:15 p.m. HK/SIN, eyeing a tenth straight day of increases. On the mainland, the Shanghai Composite climbed 0.54 percent to close at 3,410 and the Shenzhen Composite edged up 0.22 percent to finish the session at 1,945.98. Japanese markets were closed for Coming of Age Day. The first trading week of the year had seen Asian markets touch multi-year highs. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index hit its highest levels in a decade and Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 rose to levels not seen in 26 years in the last trading day. Oil prices were stable on Monday, supported by a slight decline in the number of U.S. rigs drilling for new production, with crude holding just below near three-year highs reached last week. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $61.50 a barrel at 0800 GMT, 6 cents above their last settlement. Futures reached $62.21 last week, the most since May 2015. Brent crude futures were at $67.66 a barrel, 4 cents above their last close. Brent hit $68.27 high last week, the highest since May 2015. Gold dipped on Monday, retreating from last week's 3-1/2 month high as the dollar clawed back some ground against the buoyant euro and traders bet on further U.S. rate hikes this year after Friday's payrolls data. Spot gold was down 0.1 percent at $1,318.31 an ounce at 1035 GMT, while U.S. gold futures for February delivery were down $2.70 an ounce at $1,319.60.