U.S. stock futures suggest a subdued opening to markets on Friday as investors pause to take stock in the absence of fresh economic data, and after indexes climbed to multi-year highs following the Federal Reserve's decision to postpone tapering its bond-buying program.
Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average and those on the Standard & Poor's 500 Index were flat while futures on the Nasdaq 100 Index were up 0.09 percent. Stocks are expected to pull back on Friday from a Fed-enthused rally, which saw both the Dow Jones and the S&P hit record highs on Wednesday.
“Today looks like being one of those Fridays where markets take stock after a big news week,” Ric Spooner, chief market analyst at CMC Markets, told MarketWatch. "We may see some profit-taking by short term sellers disappointed that yesterday’s strong upward momentum was not followed through.”
The U.S. Federal Reserve surprised markets around the world on Wednesday after it refrained from scaling down its $85 billion-a-month bond-buying program, stating that the health of the U.S. economy is not strong enough to change the current ultra-loose monetary policy.
In Europe and Asia too, markets retreated to trade mostly flat on Friday after clocking multi-year highs in the previous session as investors cheered the Fed’s decision.
The Stoxx Europe 600 index dropped 0.07 percent, London’s FTSE 100 was down 0.09 percent, Germany's DAX-30 was down 0.03 percent and France's CAC-40 was trading up 0.04 percent.
In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei ended down 0.16 down while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 was down 0.36 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index, the Shanghai Composite index and South Korea’s KOSPI Composite index are closed until Monday due to public holidays in their countries.
In India, the benchmark BSE Sensex stock index, which had surged 3.87 percent on Thursday, fell by 1.85 percent Friday, after the Reserve Bank of India unexpectedly raised the repo rate -- its key policy interest rate -- by 25 basis points to 7.5 percent from 7.25 percent.