Higher open likely for the U.S. markets Friday after important U.S. stock index futures looked up on Friday morning.

The market sentiments were boosted by the comments of two Federal Reserve officials who favored deeper rate cuts to salvage the economy’s growth.

At 5:15 a.m. ET, Dow Jones futures showed a positive open of around 90 points. Futures on S&P 500 and Nasdaq futures were also up.

However, at 6:40 a.m. ET, Dow futures implied a positive open of around 47 points indicating some easing in of hopes on a substantive rate cut.

Comments of New York Fed President John Williams urged the central bank to “act quickly” when the economy was slowing and “better take preventative measures than wait for disaster to unfold.”

However, a spokesperson for the New York Fed later clarified that Williams’ comments were part of academic research and had nothing to do with the agenda of the upcoming Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting.

“I would take the comments and the clarification as consistent with the relatively dovish view and the Fed heading towards ... a rate cut,” said Shane Oliver, chief economist at AMP Capital Investors. He expects a 25 basis point cut.

American Express will be reporting results on Friday before the bell.

Oil price jumps

Oil prices jumped Friday after new tensions engulfed the Middle East. Crude prices climbed 2 percent after the U.S. Navy reportedly destroyed an Iranian drone in the Strait of Hormuz in a new flare-up of tensions.

Brent crude futures zoomed 1.28 cents or 2.1 percent at $63.21 at 0329 GMT. The West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures also gained 97 cents, or 1.8 percent at $56.27.

Indications that the U.S. Federal Reserve will cut rates also supported oil’s Friday gains, noted Stephen Innes, the managing partner at Vanguard Markets.

Meanwhile, the International Energy Agency (IEA) cut the oil demand outlook for 2019 considering the slowdown in the global economy and U.S.trade frictions, according to Executive director Fatih Birol.

Asian stocks up

Stocks in Asia posted strong gains on Friday after the comments from the U.S. Federal Reserve official hiked expectations that the Fed would ease monetary policy more than expected.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 added 2 percent and the Topix index rose 1.94 percent to finish its trading day at 1,563.96.

In China, the Shanghai Composite rose 0.79 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index jumped 1.03 percent. South Korea’s Kospi was up 1.35 percent and Australia’s ASX 200 jumped 0.77 percent.   GettyImages-Stock markets April 29 A Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange at the end of the trading day March 2, 2009 in New York City. Photo: Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images

European stocks also traded high on Friday as market players raised bets on the U.S. rate cut this month. The pan-European Stoxx 600 was up 0.4 percent after the opening bell.

Gold price breaks a key barrier

The gold price jumped on Friday and broke the key $1,450 barrier for the first time in 6 years. The comments from top Federal Reserve official reinforced expectations of an interest rate cut while fresh break out of tensions in the Middle East also supported bullion.

Spot gold hit $1,452.60 an ounce in early trade. The U.S. gold futures also surged 1.1 percent to $1,444.10 an ounce.