US Stock Futures Fall on Trade; Dollar Gains


Major US indices finished sharply lower yesterday as it became clear that President Trump and President XI will not meet for trade talks before the March deadline. Earlier in December, the presidents agreed on a three-month truce where both countries will ease trade tensions and work out a trade deal. Moreover, the White House Economic advisor Larry Kudlow said that the two largest economies are still far away from reaching a deal. However, Trump is optimistic regarding a trade deal. The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures fell to a low of 24965, the S&P500 futures dropped to a low of 2688, and the Nasdaq futures tumbled to a low of 6856.


The dollar index which measures the greenback against a basket of major currencies finished higher for the sixth consecutive day at 96.57. The uncertainty circulating around the trade relations between China and the United States, and the woes of a global economic slowdown sparked investors' appetite towards safety. Moreover, the Brexit uncertainty and the latest soft economic data from the Eurozone raised the demand for the greenback. The European Commission lowered the 2019 growth forecasts to 1.3% from 1.9% prior. The EURUSD declined to a low of $1.1324, and the USDCAD rose to a two-week high of 1.3329.


Metals prices rose slightly as the recent drop attracted some buyers. The gold ounce settled at 1309 after testing a low of $1302, the silver ounce closed at $15.72, while palladium rose to a three-week high of $1400.


Oil prices plunged on growth concerns and trade tensions between China and the United States. The West Texas Intermediate crude futures dropped to a ten-day low of $51.77, and the Brent futures tumbled to a one-week low of $60.62.

Major Economic Events

GMT Country Event Expectation Previous
13:30 CA Employment Change (Jan) 8.0 9.3
13:30 CA Unemployment Rate (Jan) 5.7% 5.6%
18:00 US U.S. Baker Hughes Oil Rig Count   847


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