Wall Street Leans Forward Pre-Bell; Futures Green, Europe Higher, Asia Choppily Higher

Friday, October 23, 2020 7:15 AM | MT Newswires

Wall Street is leaning forward pre-bell Friday, as traders push broad-market futures up 0.3% from Thursday's close following the overnight debate between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden. The debate by both candidates for the presidency was relatively civil, resulting in few market catalysts.

Gilead Sciences (GILD) up 5.2% in pre-bell after Food and Drug Administration green-lighted remdesivir to treat COVID-19. Coca Cola (KO) said it will end 200 brands, including Tab. The tech-centric Nasdaq is trading marginally higher.

European bourses are edging forward despite renewed pandemic concerns on the continent, after Germany's manufacturing PMI for October posted at a robust 58.0. Asian exchanges closed choppily higher, but with Shanghai off 1.0% ahead of next week's Fifth Plenum of the 19th Communist Party Congress in Beijing, where the next five-year program for China's economy will be unveiled.

Bitcoin is stronger at $13,009.7, front-month West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures are trading for $40.82 and 10-year US Treasuries offer 0.85%. Gold trade is trading at $1,899.9 an ounce.

On the economic calendar is the October PMI Composite Flash, with pundits positing a 54.2 reading, above the 50-marker that separates growth from contraction. The Baker Hughes domestic oil-and-gas rig count posts at 1 pm.

ABB (ABB), Illinois Tool (ITW) and American Express (AXP) report earnings pre-bell, among others.

In the futures, the S&P 500 is up 0.3%, the Nasdaq is up 0.1% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 0.4%

In Europe, the British FTSE 100 is up 1.5%, the French CAC is up 1.5%, and the German DAX is up 1.2%.

Asian stock markets were mixed and muted Friday after the US presidential debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden ended without excessive rancor or other market catalysts.

Hong Kong and Tokyo edged forward, but Shanghai fell back 1% ahead of next week's Fifth Plenum of the 19th Communist Party Congress in Beijing next week. Other exchanges were also mixed.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 finished up 0.2% after opening evenly on Wall Street cues and trading higher following the US presidential debates.

A stronger yen against the US dollar capped the upside in export-oriented Japan, while market denizens again awaited developments on a stimulus package in Washington. Investors are cautious as earnings season unfolds, said analysts.

The Nikkei 225 rose 42.32 points to 23,516.59 points, as gaining issues outnumbered losers 170 to 50.

The Nikkei 225 is off 0.6% year-to-date.

In other news, economic conditions remain severe in Japan in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, despite government measures to support spending, the Cabinet Office said in its monthly assessment.

Also, the official consumer price index and core CPI in September were unchanged from a year earlier, reported officials.

The Hong Kong Hang Seng Index finished up 0.5%, after opening lower but getting fueled by oil issues after Russian leader Vladimir Putin said he supports crude-production limits among petroleum states.

The Hang Seng rose 132.65 points to 24,918.78 points, as gaining issues outnumbered losers 28 to 19.

Leading the upside were state oil giant CNOOC (883:HK), up 7.3%, followed by China Petroleum & Chemical (386:HK), up 6.7%, and then PetroChina (857:HK), up 6.5%.

In other news, mainland China's State Administration of Foreign Exchange issued a statement that the nation's currency may fluctuate more in the period ahead than is normal.

On the other exchanges, South Korea's Kospi rose 0.2%; the Taiwan TWSE lost 0.1%; the Australian ASX 200 eased 0.1%; the Singapore Straits Times Index rose 0.4%, and the Thai Set fell 0.2%. In late trading in Mumbai, the Sensex was up 0.3%.

The MSCI AC Asia Pacific Index lost 0.6%.

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