Stocks are likely to move to the upside in early trading on Friday, extending the recovery from yesterday’s early lows. The major index futures are currently pointing to a higher open for the markets, with the Dow futures up by 287 points.
The upward momentum on Wall Street comes amid optimism about a potential ceasefire in the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict.
While the fighting currently continues, Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that “certain positive shifts” have occurred in talks between the two sides.
Traders are likely to keep a close eye on developments in the commodities markets, as stocks have largely moved inversely to the price of crude oil in recent sessions.
Shortly after the start of trading, the University of Michigan is scheduled to release its preliminary reading on consumer sentiment in the month of March. The consumer sentiment index is expected to dip to 61.3 in March from 62.8 in February.
After coming under pressure in morning trading on Thursday, stocks showed a notable recovery attempt over the course of the afternoon. The major averages climbed well off their worst levels of the day but remained in negative territory.
The Dow tumbled by more than 460 points at its worst levels of the day but closed down a relatively modest 112.18 points or 0.3 percent at 33,174.07. The Nasdaq slumped 125.58 points or 1 percent to 13,129.96 and the S&P 500 fell 18.36 points or 0.4 percent to 4,259.52.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly lower during trading on Friday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index plunged by 2.1 percent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index dove by 1.6 percent.
Meanwhile, the major European markets have shown significant moves to the upside on the day. While the German DAX Index has spiked by 3 percent, the French CAC 40 Index is up by 2.3 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index is up by 1.4 percent.
In commodities trading, crude oil futures are inching up $0.21 to $106.23 a barrel after tumbling $2.68 to $106.02 a barrel on Thursday. Meanwhile, after rising $12.20 to $2,000.40 an ounce an ounce in the previous session, gold futures are slumping $21.40 to $1,979 an ounce.
On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 116.88 yen versus the 116.14 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Thursday. Against the euro, the dollar is valued at $1.0996 compared to yesterday’s $1.0986.
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