Before the bell: What you need to know before the US market open

Billy Bambrough
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Google's phone launch yesterday failed to attract the attention of Apple's product launches
Google's phone launch yesterday failed to attract the attention of Apple's product launches (Source: Getty)

The pound has recovered some of its losses after mammoth sell-offs all week, while the gold price is steadier after its biggest one-day drop since 2013.

Here's what you need to know before the US open at 2:30pm London time.

US futures are pointing down in the pre-market. The S&P is off by 0.06 per cent, the Nasdaq is down by 0.4 per cent. The Dow is 0.11 per cent lower. The US 10-year yield is up one basis point at 1.70 per cent.

Elsewhere, European markets have dipped halfway into the session. Asia finished the session mixed, with Japan's Nikkei and Hong Kong's Hang Seng up, and markets in India down.

A sterling performance

The pound has regained losses against both the dollar and the euro after it was whacked again in early trading this morning.

Sterling slipped below the crucial $1.27 benchmark to set another three-decade trough against the greenback as the markets opened in London - before rebounding to $1.2726, down just 0.02 per cent.

The first hit came after Prime Minister Theresa May said Article 50 would be triggered by the end of March 2017, and as more signs that the government will be taking a hard line with Europe in the divorce proceedings emerged, sterling cascaded lower.

Gold is glittering

Meanwhile, gold is making a comeback. The precious metal was higher by 0.4 per cent at $1,273.72 per ounce at the start of trading today.

Yesterday gold prices dipped to their lowest level since the referendum in a big morning of movers-and-shakers on the global money markets.

Gold is still up by $240 an ounce since the beginning of the year, after surging higher throughout the first six months of the year amid various bouts of uncertainty.

Stocks to watch

Tech giant Google last night unveiled new hardware and software expected to go on sale by the end of the month. Chief among Google's announcements was the reveal of its new phone, called Pixel, which is intended to be a direct challenger to Apple's iPhone.

Apple is climbing in the pre-market though - apparently investors are not too concerned about Google's new assault.

Chip maker Micron Technology is falling in the pre-market, after it revealed a $170m net loss for its fourth quarter, down from a profit of $471m in the same period last year.

Texas oil and gas company Caelus has discovered between 6bn and 10bn barrels of oil in Alaska, one of the largest ever found in the region.

Companies reporting

US agriculture and seeds company Monsanto, as well as Corona beer maker Constellation Brands are reporting ahead of the open.

After the close, KFC and Taco Bell's parent company Yum Brands will post its latest quarter.

In economic news

Another busy day for economic news. ADP Employment Change will be released before the open.

Shortly after the latest Markit US services PMI is released. At 3pm London time ISM non-manufacturing, factory orders, and durable goods are due out, and at 3:30pm the US Department of Energy oil inventories are announced.

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