Stocks – US Futures Higher; Investors Put Faith in Stimulus

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By Peter Nurse    

Investing.com – U.S. stocks are set to open higher Friday, as investors seemingly put their faith in the vast array of stimulus policies from central banks and governments to shore up economies against the coronavirus pandemic.

At 6:55 AM ET (1055 GMT), futures for the traded 72 points, or 3%, higher, futures for the up 309 points, or 4.2%, while the futures contract rose 673 points, or 3.4%. 

The Federal Reserve extended dollar swap lines with central banks late Thursday, while Senate Republicans introduced a stimulus and rescue proposal that could total $1.2 trillion.

Earlier Friday, the Bank of England suspended 2020 stress tests for the eight major U.K. banks and building societies, a day after cutting interest rates for the second time in a week. 

Additionally, Germany is set to introduce a half-trillion euro fund to support companies thrown into payments difficulties by the coronavirus crisis, Der Spiegel reported on Friday.

That said, the extent of the economic slowdown due to the virus outbreak was put into sharp focus as California, the most populous U.S. state, issued a “stay at home” order to residents.

Governor Gavin Newsom told Californians late Thursday they should only leave their homes when necessary during the pandemic. He earlier estimated more than half of the 40 million people in his state would contract Covid-19 in just the next two months.

Still, adding to the positive tone was a jump in oil prices on the back of a report by The Wall Street Journal alleging that the U.S. may impose production quotas on domestic companies. In addition, President Trump suggested he may intervene in the price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia at an “appropriate time”.

and have both collapsed about 40% in the last two weeks since talks between the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, including Russia, broke down, resulting in Saudi Arabia ramping up supply. 

This has hurt many U.S. producers, most of which have budgeted for oil between $55 per barrel and $65 per barrel in 2020.

At 06:55 AM ET (1055 GMT), U.S. crude futures traded 5,2% higher at $27.25 a barrel, after soaring 24% Thursday. The international benchmark Brent contract rose 4.5% to $29.74, after jumping 14.4% on Thursday in its biggest one-day gain since September.

rose 2.3% to $1,513.90/oz, while traded at $1.0739, up 0.4%.

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