Friday January 11th


US stock futures slip amid government shutdown

U.S. stock index futures were lower on Friday as the U.S. government shutdown dragged on. At around 8:37 a.m. ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures fell 57 points, indicating a decline of 80.92 points at the open. Futures on the S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 were trading lower. The federal government remained closed on Friday, stoking fears the shutdown could drag on for a long time. On Thursday, President Donald Trump tweeted he would skip the annual World Economic Forum at Davos later this month due to the shutdown. The moves on Friday happened after after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell reiterated the U.S. central bank would be patient about raising interest rates over the coming months. Meanwhile, market focus was also attuned to news that trade talks between the world’s two largest economies could soon move to higher levels. U.S. and Chinese officials are working on arrangements of higher-level trade talks after mid-level officials concluded talks earlier this week. U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Thursday that Vice Premier Liu would most likely visit Washington later in January for further negotiations. Major stock indexes on Wall Street closed slightly higher on Thursday, with the S&P 500 notching its first five-day winning streak since September. However, gains were capped after disappointing holiday sales from Macy’s and a revenue guidance cut from American Airlines pressured retail and airline shares. Asia stocks mostly gained Friday amid improved investor sentiment following overnight gains on Wall Street. The mainland Chinese markets, watched in relation to the ongoing trade war between Beijing and Washington, were higher on the day. The Shanghai composite was up about 0.74 percent to close around 2,553.83 while the Shenzhen composite gained 0.758 percent to about 1,313.36. The Shenzhen component also rose 0.611 percent to close around 7,474.01. Meanwhile, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index gained about 0.5 percent, as of its final hour of trade. Elsewhere in Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 0.97 percent to close at 20,359.70 while the Topix index gained 0.51 percent to finish its trading week at 1,529.73. South Korea’s Kospi also rose 0.6 percent to close at 2,075.57. Oil prices gave up early gains on Friday, but remained on track for solid weekly gains on hopes the United States and China may soon resolve their trade dispute. Tightened supply following OPEC-led crude production cuts is supporting oil prices, along with positive signals from top central banks, which sent global stocks higher after sharp losses in late 2018. International Brent crude futures were at $61.17 per barrel at 8:34 a.m. ET (1334 GMT), down 51 cents. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell 38 cents to $52.21 per barrel. Gold rose on Friday as continued dollar weakness kept the precious metal on track for a fourth straight weekly gain. In addition to dollar-denting on expectations that the brakes could soon be applied to U.S. interest rates, gold was also supported by increasing market nervousness over U.S. President Donald Trump’s unbending demand for a wall to be built on the border with Mexico. Spot gold rose 0.51 percent to $1,292.91 an ounce by 7:10 a.m. ET. U.S. gold futures were up 0.47 percent at $1,293.40.