U.S. stock index futures point to a flat open on Friday, ahead of the publication of a consumer sentiment report from Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan and another round of quarterly earnings reports from U.S. companies.
Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average were up 0.01 percent, while futures on the Standard & Poor's 500 Index and those on the Nasdaq 100 Index were flat.
Investors also are expected to focus on the consumer sentiment index, which is due to be released at 9:55 a.m. EDT. The final index for July, which shows consumers' perception of the nation's business climate and economic conditions, is expected to post a reading of 84.0 in the month, according to a Bloomberg report. The preliminary reading of the index for the month of July, published earlier, had come in at 83.9, below analysts’ expectations of the index holding steady at June’s 84.1 level.
On the earnings front, a number of major companies, including Newell Rubbermaid Inc. (NYSE:NWL), NV Energy Inc. (NYSE:NVE) and Tyco International Ltd. (NYSE:TYC) will announce quarterly earnings before market hours.
In Europe, markets traded higher on Friday, with the Stoxx Europe 600 index trading up 0.28 percent, London’s FTSE 100 was up 0.18 percent, Germany's DAX-30 was up 0.04 percent and France's CAC-40 was trading up 0.89 percent.
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In Asia, markets traded mixed, tracking gains on Wall Street, while Japanese shares tumbled as the yen strengthened against the U.S. dollar.
Japan’s consumer price inflation, or CPI, data released on Friday showed that Tokyo CPI for July rose 0.3 percent year-on-year, better-than analysts’ expectation of 0.2 percent while the national CPI rose 0.2 percent, against a deflation of 0.3 percent in the previous month, again beating analysts' expectations of an increase of 0.1 percent.
Japan’s Nikkei ended down 2.97 percent and China’s Shanghai Composite index ended down 0.51 percent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index gained 0.31 percent. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 ended up 0.13 percent and South Korea’s KOSPI Composite index ended marginally up 0.06 percent, while India’s BSE Sensex was trading down 0.07 percent in late-afternoon trade.