U.S. stock index futures futures rose slightly Friday as Wall Street continued monitoring the situation surrounding the debt ceiling. Futures connected to the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 94 points, or 0.28%, while S&P 500 gained 0.26%. Nasdaq-100 futures were flat. The major averages are headed for weekly gains. The S&P 500 is up 1.8% week to date through Thursday’s close. That would be its biggest one-week advance since March. The Nasdaq Composite, meanwhile, has risen 3.3% for the week. That would also be its best weekly performance since March. The Dow is up 0.7%. A chunk of those gains came Thursday, as traders mounted bets that a U.S. debt ceiling deal could be reached. Comments from House Speaker Kevin McCarthy Thursday seemed to suggest a potential deal could come as soon as next week. “There is some uncertainty about when the government will be unable to meet its obligations in terms of running out of money, so that does create some uncertainty,” said Yung-Yu Ma, chief investment strategist at BMO Wealth Management. “And so, it’s still a risky environment, but one which we believe will ultimately see an outcome that is not too damaging to the markets – on a long-term basis, at least.” The tail-end of earnings season continues Friday with results from Deere and Foot Locker before the bell. Friday marks a light day for economic data, although comments from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell and New York Fed President John Williams are on deck. Asia-Pacific markets largely rose as two of the three Wall Street’s major indexes hit record highs on Thursday night and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy says that he is confident a deal can be struck on the U.S. debt ceiling by next week. Leaders from the Group of 7 will be gathering in Hiroshima, Japan for the G-7 summit that kicks off today. Japan stocks marked its best week since October as the Nikkei 225 rose 0.77% and ended at 30,808.35, maintaining the highest levels since 1990 and the Topix climbed 0.18% to 2,161.69— marking its sixth winning streak. Japan’s core inflation in April rose 3.4% year-on-year, maintaining levels above the central bank’s target. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 inched up 0.59% to end the day at 7,279.5, while South Korea’s Kospi gained 0.89% to close at 2,537.79 and the Kosdaq closed 0.27% higher at 841.72. Greater China markets meanwhile bucked the trend: Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index fell 1.5% and the Shanghai Composite slid 0.42% in mainland China to end at 3,283.54. The Shenzhen Component was up 0.12%, closing at 11,091.36. Oil prices rebounded on Friday from losses of more than 1% the previous day as investors turned cautiously optimistic over the fading risk of a U.S. debt default. Brent futures rose $1.15, or 1.5%, to $77.01 a barrel by 1205 GMT, while West Texas Intermediate U.S. crude for July expiry climbed $1.16, or 1.6%, to $73.10. Gold prices advanced on Friday, tracking a pullback in the dollar, but increased optimism around a U.S. debt limit deal set prices on track for a weekly drop. Spot gold rose 0.3% to $1,964.09 per ounce by 1110 GMT, after hitting its lowest since early April on Thursday. U.S. gold futures rose 0.4% to $1,967.80. The dollar index slipped 0.3% on the day and made gold more affordable for holders of other currencies, but the index was headed for a second straight weekly gain.
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