Thursday September 12th


Stock futures rise after tariff delay, ECB bond buying program

U.S. stock index futures were higher Thursday as investors cheered a delay to higher U.S. tariffs against Chinese imports along with a large bond buying program from Europe’s central bank. Around 7:52 a.m. ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were up 96 points, indicating a gain of 97 points at the open. S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures also pointed to a higher open. The Dow and S&P 500 entered Thursday’s session less than 1% from record highs reached in July. The Dow also closed above 27,000 on Wednesday for the first time since July 30 while the S&P 500 broke above 3,000 for the first time since July 31. President Donald Trump agreed to delay an additional increase in tariffs on Chinese goods by two weeks “as a gesture of good will.” The move raised hopes of a thaw in trade frictions between the world’s two largest economies. The U.S. and China have imposed tariffs on billions of dollars’ worth of one another’s goods since the start of 2018, battering financial markets and souring business and consumer sentiment. Trade officials from both sides are expected to hold talks in Washington in early October. Chipmaker stocks such as Micron Technology, Advanced Micro Devices and Skyworks Solutions all traded at least 0.3% higher in the premarket. Tech giant Apple gained 0.5%. Elsewhere, investors digested the latest decision from policymakers at the European Central Bank. The ECB cut its deposit rate by 10 basis point and launched a new bond buying program. The bank will buy €20 billion worth of  assets for as long as needed. The euro dropped 0.4% against the dollar following the announcement. Stocks in Asia rose on Thursday as investor hopes rose on positive developments on the U.S.-China trade front. Mainland Chinese stocks edged up on the day, with the Shanghai composite rising 0.75% to about 3,031.24 and Shenzhen component adding 0.67% to 9,919.80. The Shenzhen composite gained 0.58% to approximately 1,681.23. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index slipped about 0.2%, as of its final hour of trading. Elsewhere, the Nikkei 225 rose 0.75% on the day to 21,759.61, while the Topix added 0.72% to close at 1,595.10. Oil prices fell on Thursday as a meeting of the OPEC+ alliance yielded no discussion about deepening supply cuts but focused instead on bringing Nigerian and Iraqi output down to their agreed quotas. Brent crude futures fell 64 cents, or 1.1% to $60.17 a barrel, heading for a third session of losses. U.S. West Texas Intermediate futures were down 42 cents, or 0.8% at $55.32. Gold rose on Thursday ahead of a European Central Bank meeting, supported by lingering concerns around global growth, while an uptick in financial markets driven by hopes of a thaw in U.S.-China trade tensions kept the metal’s gains in check. Spot gold was up 0.4% at $1,503.04 per ounce. U.S. gold futures rose 0.5% to $1,510.06.