GettyImages-Stock market Feb 15
A trader is reflected in a market screen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on August 25, 2015 in New York City. A lower open is indicated for U. S markets on Feb 15, Friday as Dow Jones futures and other indices are down. Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

A lower open likely for the U.S markets Friday. This follows the slump in top U.S. stock index futures apparently by the weaker than expected U.S retail data.

At around 2:30 a.m. ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were down 99 points, indicating a negative open. Futures on the S&P and Nasdaq were also marginally down.

The retail sales data released Thursday showed a 1.2 percent dip in December. That was the biggest shrink since September 2009 hinting the slowing of the American economy.

However, investors are looking for positive cues from the U.S.-China trade talks now progressing in Beijing.

Oil zooms sharply

Oil market boomed on Friday with Brent crude oil prices jumping to the highest in 2019, pushing the oil price to $65 per barrel, aided by U.S. sanctions against Venezuela, Iran and the production cuts by OPEC.

Brent jumped and moved barrel price to $65.10, exceeding the $65 mark for the first time in 2019. But it later retreated to $64.97 a barrel by 0450 GMT, still, a 0.6 percent gain above the last close.

The U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures had per barrel price moving to $54.70, with a 0.6 percent gain from the last settlement.

All the international indices of oil prices are staying at a 3-month high and the weekly gain this week will be 4.6 percent.

The supply tightening measures by OPEC and allies including Russia is pushing up the prices.

“Brent should average $70 per barrel in 2019, helped by voluntary cuts of Saudi, Kuwait, UAE and involuntary (Venezuela, Iran) declines in OPEC supply,” noted the Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

Asian stocks down

Asian stock markets closed lower on Friday, over the signals from U.S. retail figures that suggested a possible slowing of the American economy.

Losses hit mainland Chinese markets on Friday. The Shanghai Composite lost 1.37 percent while Shenzhen composite shed 0.67 percent. Hang Seng index in Hong Kong slumped 1.91 percent. Japan's Nikkei 225 was down 1.13 percent; Topix lost 0.79 percent.

South Korea's Kospi too lost 1.34 percent. However, Australia's ASX 200 defied the trend and showed a jump of 0.11 percent.

European stocks had mixed trends Friday morning after the weak U.S. retail sales data posed doubts about the strength of the American economy. The Stoxx 600 was flat as sectors and markets swung to opposite directions. Autos stocks faced heavy losses with Italy's tire maker Pirelli leading the sectoral loss after a sales dip.