Higher open expected for Wall Street Thursday as the Dow Jones stock index futures were looking up on Thursday morning.

In the stock market news. the U.S investors seem to have digested the latest earnings results including Facebook and awaiting the latest results.

The Dow showed a positive open of 38 points while S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures were looking subdued.

Investors are also monitoring trade developments at the U.S.- China front where talks are scheduled to begin next week.

The European Central Bank (ECB) latest monetary policy decision is expected Thursday. A section of traders holds the view that President Mario Draghi will signal a September rate cut and offer a change in guidance Thursday.

Google’s parent company Alphabet and Amazon will be reporting earnings after the bell.

In data, jobless claims figures will be coming at 8:30 a.m. ET, along with June’s durable goods orders and advance economic indicators.

Oil price up

Oil prices jumped on Thursday amid Middle East tensions and a big fall in U.S. crude stocks. However, big gains in oil have been capped by weak Western manufacturing data that indicated slowing economic growth and an outlook of reduced fuel demand.

Brent crude futures were up 36 cents or 0.6 percent to $63.54 a barrel by 0855 GMT.

The U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude rose 31 cents at $56.19 a barrel and dropped 1.6 percent in the previous session.

A heavy fall in U.S. crude stocks by nearly 11 million barrels last week exceeded analysts’ expectations for a drop of 4 million barrels.

Oil prices are under pressure from concerns about global economic growth and harm from the year-long U.S.-China trade war.

The hopes of a cut in interest rates have been reinforced by a series of purchasing manager index (PMI) released in the United States and Europe They were weaker than expected.

The White House confirmed on Wednesday that negotiators from the U.S and China would meet next week to continue talks. This bolstered global equities.

The release of the purchasing manager index (PMI) in the United States and Europe showed greater weakness than expected.

The German PMI was the worst hit with a seven-year drop in July, suggesting a dismal growth outlook for the largest economy in Europe.

Asian stocks trade high

Asia Pacific stock markets traded high on Thursday with semiconductor stocks showing a jump in Japan and South Korea.

The gains of mainland Chinese stocks reflected in the Shanghai composite adding 0.48percent while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index gained 0.25 percent.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 0.22 percent while the Topix index soared 0.18percent. Australia’s ASX 200 closed 0.61 percent with most sectors advancing.

South Korea Kospi was an exception and it slipped 0.38 percent.

GettyImages-Stock Market APril 12
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on March 22, 2019, in New York City. Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

European stocks jumped slightly higher Thursday morning after soft economic data bolstered hopes of a rate cut from the European Central Bank (ECB).

The pan-European Stoxx 600 jumped 0.3 percent during mid-morning deals, with most sectors in positive territory.

“The risk of something big happening today is still underpriced,” said Frederik Ducrozet, strategist at Pictet Wealth Management referring to the backdrop of weaker PMI data.

Gold price steady

Gold prices were steady on Thursday ahead of European Central Bank’s (ECB) policy meeting. But a stronger dollar pressured the safe-haven metal.

Spot gold was flat at $1,425.80 per ounce, at 0725 GMT.

The U.S. gold futures gained a mere 0.1 percent at $1,425.60 an ounce.

“Gold prices have been range-bound. Some money managers are starting to shut some positions to prepare for the Federal Reserve meeting, and also the ECB decision coming out today,” said Benjamin Lu, an analyst at Phillip Futures.