Futures flat as Draghi talks down euro
Meanwhile, Japan is concerned its yen moves have been too fast and may not last.
While the European Central Bank left its key interest rate unchanged and didn't specifically indicate it was set to weaken the euro, the series of comments made at the press conference and hints suggest that the bank was indeed worried about the strength of the currency.
In other news, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is set to legalize online gambling in the state, making it only the third state to do so.
Chinese inflation cooled in January as the consumer price index grew 2.0% from the same time last year, slower than the 2.5% annual gain seen in December. Also, producer prices showed less of a contraction in the month.
Japanese Finance Minister Aso spoke overnight saying that the recent yen moves may have been too fast as the yen recouped some of its recent losses against the dollar.
- S&P 500 futures were flat at 1,505.30.
- The EUR/USD was slightly higher at 1.3406.
- Spanish 10-year government bond yields fell to 5.36%.
- Italian 10-year government bond yields fell to 4.54%.
- Gold fell 0.01% to $1,671.20 per ounce.
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Asian shares were mixed overnight on the Aso comments, the Chinese inflation data, and also Chinese trade data which showed that exports and imports grew faster than expected in January. The Japanese Nikkei Index fell 1.8% and the Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.57% while the Hang Seng Index rose 0.16%. Also, the Korean Kospi rose 0.99% as the yen weakened and Australian shares rose 0.72%.
European shares were higher in early trade on the positive sentiment from China and also relaxed concerns about the strong euro as the single currency fell. The Spanish Ibex Index rose 0.29% and the Italian FTSE MIB Index rose 0.39%. Meanwhile, the German DAX rose 0.12% and the French CAC rose 0.4% while U.K. shares rose 0.33%.
Commodities were mixed overnight as energy futures gained and metals futures lagged. WTI crude futures rose 0.18% to $96.00 per barrel and Brent crude futures rose 0.46% to $117.78 per barrel. Copper futures rose 0.25% overnight following the strong Chinese data. Gold was lower and silver futures rose 0.34% to $31.51 per ounce.
Currency markets were in reversal mode Friday as major pairs reversed moves of the recent days. The EUR/USD was higher at 1.3406 after declining massively Thursday and the dollar fell 1.19% against the yen to 92.52. Overall, the Dollar Index fell 0.21% on weakness against the euro, the yen, the pound, and the Canadian dollar. The Australian dollar was also strong overnight, gaining against the greenback and the euro but declining against the yen.
Stocks moving in the premarket included:
- Caesar's Entertainment (CZR) shares fell 0.89% in premarket trading after rising more than 10% Thursday following the New Jersey news on online gambling.
- LinkedIn (LNKD) shares rose 8.99% premarket as the company reported earnings that beat analyst estimates.
- Coinstar (CSTR) shares fell 8.69% premarket as the company reported earnings that missed estimates.
- Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) shares fell 1.78% in premarket trade after investors became cautious of the company's European operations following its earnings call.
Notable companies expected to report earnings Friday include:
- AOL (AOL) is expected to report fourth quarter earnings per share of $0.41 vs. $0.23 a year ago.
- CBOE Holdings (CBOE) is expected to report fourth quarter earnings per share of $0.42 vs. $0.37 a year ago.
- Moody's (MCO) is expected to report fourth quarter earnings per share of $0.69 vs. $0.43 a year ago.
On the economics calendar Friday, U.S. international and wholesale trade data are expected as well as the Canadian employment report and Canadian housing starts. Also, Naryana Kocherlakota of the Minnesota Fed is set to speak.
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The solid report comes a month after the retailer closed all of its Canadian operations.
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