Stock futures dip as Wall Street rally loses momentum
U.S. stock index futures fell for the second straight day on Friday, after a record-setting few days on Wall Street, as investors await clarity on economic policy and ahead of a long weekend. The S&P 500 has rise about 5 percent so far in 2017, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 4 percent, mainly on signs of an improving economy and promises by President Donald Trump to cut corporate taxes and reduce financial regulations. Now, with a strong fourth-quarter earnings season mostly complete, many investors say they need concrete signs of progress from Trump to justify more gains. Trump used his first solo news conference on Thursday to lash out at reporters on what he viewed as unfair coverage of his first few weeks in office. The Dow Jones Industrial Average managed to close at a record high for the sixth straight session on Thursday, but losses in energy shares caused the S&P to snap a seven-day winning streak.
French Bonds Drop on Potential Left-Wing Candidacy Merger
French bonds dropped as the nation’s election campaign took another twist after Socialist Party presidential candidate Benoit Hamon said he’s holding further talks with far-left candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon about a potential single candidacy. A merger could bring about a showdown with Marine Le Pen’s anti-euro National Front, with the latest polls showing the combined vote share of the two candidates would see them qualify for the second round of voting in May. The yield difference between French and German 10-year bonds widened the most in a week, while the nation’s stocks and the euro dropped, after Hamon made the comments in an interview with France Info radio.
China share indexes fall, erasing most of this week’s gains
China’s main stock indexes fell on Friday as investors retreated from brokerage and newly-listed stocks after a recent rally, erasing most of the gains made earlier this week. The blue-chip CSI300 index dropped 0.6 percent to 3,421.44 points, while the Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.9 percent to 3,202.08 points. For the week, CSI and SSEC both added 0.2 percent. Brokerage stocks initially rose sharply on Friday, after China’s securities regulator said late on Thursday it will relax certain rules on stock index futures trading as the government starts to gradually unwind restrictions imposed during the 2015 market meltdown.