U.S. stocks look set to open higher on Thursday, a day after data showed the U.S. economy grew at its fastest pace in more than two years in the second quarter. With private sector employment also surging in August, investors are pinning hopes that Friday’s jobs report will surprise to the upside.
The dollar extended gains as strong growth and jobs figures as well as President Trump’s populist pitch for tax reform helped traders move past North Korea’s missile test.
The dollar’s gains also come in the wake of expectations that the European Central Bank may express concern about euro strength at a policy meeting coming up next week.
Global cues remain mixed, with Asian markets closing on a mixed note despite positive data from China, while European markets edged higher on the back of a weaker euro.
Copper climbed more than 1 percent after the release of Chinese data and oil prices remain mixed, while U.S. gasoline futures topped $2 per gallon for the first time since 2015 on fears of a supply squeeze.
Activity in China’s manufacturing sector continued to expand in August, and at a faster rate, the latest survey from the National Bureau of Statistics showed today with a PMI score of 51.7. That beat forecasts for 51.3 and was up from 51.4 in July.
However, the official non-manufacturing PMI came in with a score of 53.4, down from 54.5 in the previous month.
Eurozone inflation climbed to a four-month high in August, mainly on account of higher energy prices, while the euro area jobless rate remained unchanged at the lowest level in more than eight years in July, separate reports showed.
Four days of Brexit negotiations will conclude today in Brussels, with both the U.K. and EU negotiating teams failing to agree on many common issues.
Closer home, investors await readings on jobless claims, personal income and consumer spending, Chicago PMI and pending home sales later in the day for more clues about Fed policy outlook.
On the earnings front, Campbell Soup and Dollar…