U.S. equities were slightly higher in the pre-market session even as global stocks were mixed. S&P 500 Index (INDEXCBOE:SPX) Futures added 0.05% to 2,098.25 while Nasdaq (INDEXNASDAQ:NDX) Futures floated up 0.16% o 4,517.25.
Japan’s resilient data
Asian markets rallied after Japan posted better-than-expected economic data for April. Also, increased expectations of postponement of its sales tax hike to 2019 bolstered overall outlook for Japanese equities. However, European markets witnessed a setback after Eurozone inflation remained negative. Prices in the region declined by 0.1% in May despite the European Central Bank’s extensive monetary easing programs. Low oil prices were blamed for continuing deflationary pressures. Meanwhile, Europe’s unemployment data remained stuck at 10.2% in April, unchanged from the previous month while the Eurozone jobless rate hit a seven-year low.
Brent Crude slips on supply fears
The U.S. Dollar (CURRENCY:USD) hovered near two-month highs against global currencies as outlook remained buoyant following Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen’s comments last week. U.S. nonfarm payrolls data will be critical for traders to gauge possibilities about any short-term rate hikes. Increased expectations of tighter monetary policy continued to weigh on SPDR Gold Trust (ETF) (NYSEARCA:GLD) and other commodity prices.
Meanwhile, oil prices continued to trade under $50 a barrel. The outlook for U.S. oil futures remained bright, however Brent Crude plunged following reports of increased oil supplies from the Middle East. The Organization of Exporting Countries (OPEC) is set to meet in Vienna later this week though the possibility of substantial production cuts is unlikely.
Ahead today, the Commerce Department will announce the core personal consumption expenditure (PCE) index for April. Besides this, business activity in the Chicago region, as well as the Conference Board’s report on May consumer confidence, will be the spotlight for markets.