Higher open likely for the U.S markets Thursday after Fed chief Jerome Powell’s testimony seemingly lifted markets with expectations on a rate cut.

On Thursday morning, most U.S. stock index futures were high.

Around 6 a.m. ET, Dow Jones futures indicated a positive open of more than 70 points. Futures on the S&P and Nasdaq were also up.

Powell told the House Committee on Wednesday that the central bank will “act appropriately” to sustain the U.S economic expansion as “crosscurrents” are haunting the economic outlook.

On the data front, weekly jobless claims and inflation figures will be out at 8:30 a.m. ET.

Delta Air Lines will be reporting earnings before the bell.

In Europe, stocks jumped higher on cues from U.S. Federal Reserve Chief Powell on a rate cut.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 was up 0.3 percent by mid-morning.

The U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said President Donald Trump has ordered a probe into reports that France would slap “digital services” tax on U.S. tech giants. Trump wanted to examine how far that will scale up as an unfair trade practice.

Oil price zooms

Oil futures zoomed to a six-week high on Thursday as a brewing storm in the Gulf of Mexico and other issues posed challenges to crude output and supply.

An aborted attack to seize a British vessel in the Gulf allegedly by Iran exacerbated tensions in the oil-producing Middle East region. The decline in U.S. crude stocks also supported oil prices.

The U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures jumped 34 cents at $60.77 a barrel by 0337 GMT, after hitting a peak of $60.83.

Brent crude futures were up 30 cents, at $67.31 a barrel.

On oil price outlook, Benjamin Lu, an analyst at Phillip Futures in Singapore said rising U.S. shale production levels, subdued global economic momentum, and trade uncertainties will check broad gains for crude oil futures.

 Asian stocks up

Asia markets jumped Thursday after U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell hinted that the U.S. central bank would not mind cutting interest rates.

In Chinese stocks, mixed trends prevailed. The Shanghai Composite was up fractionally while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index jumped 0.75 percent.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 0.51 percent while the Topix gained 0.47 percent. South Korea’s Kospi also added 1.06 percent.

Australia’s ASX 200 rose 0.39 percent.  GettyImages-Stock Market April 11 Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on March 25, 2019 in New York City. Photo: Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Gold price jumps

Gold prices jumped to a week’s high on Thursday, as the dollar sank after dovish remarks from the Fed chief strengthening the case for an interest rate cut.

Spot gold jumped 0.3 percent at $1,422.40 per ounce as of 0711 GMT, after hitting $1,426 that was the highest since July 3.

The U.S. gold futures jumped 0.9 percent to $1,424.80 an ounce.

 “Powell’s testimony made sure that there is a rate cut on the cards this month. He has provided a loser monetary policy base for gold prices gain further,” noted Howie Lee, an economist with OCBC Bank.