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US stock futures shrug off overseas slump

US stocks were poised to rebound on Friday as investors shrugged off an overseas sell-off and inflation fears receded.

Dow futures were last up 27 points or 0.1%. S&P 500 futures increased 0.2% and Nasdaq futures gained 0.5%. Wall Street stumbled on Thursday, with energy and tech stocks selling off, and the 10-year Treasury bond yield climbing to a new 13-month high.

Stocks outside the United States moved lower on Friday, as investors focused on stubborn coronavirus outbreaks in Europe. London’s FTSE 100 was off 0.4% in early trade. Germany’s DAX was down 0.5% and France’s CAC 40 was trading 0.6% lower.

In Asia, energy stocks were a drag on Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index, which closed 1.4% lower. China’s Shanghai Composite lost 1.7%, while Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 1.4% and South Korea’s Kospi dropped 0.9%.

Hong Kong’s tech sector also took a beating, following a steep fall on Wall Street’s tech-focused Nasdaq Composite on Thursday.

“The rapid rise in long-end US yields has spooked investors again overnight as there appears to be no lasting respite for the fixed income onslaught,” wrote Stephen Innes, chief global market strategist for Sydney-based online broker Axi, in a Friday research note.

He added that tech stocks were hit particularly hard because inflation hurts the value of their future earnings. Low interest rates boost interest in riskier investments, but investors are worried that as economies reopen, faster growth and price increases may force central banks to hike rates sooner than expected.

Earlier this week, the US Federal Reserve upgraded its outlook for US GDP growth this year to 6.5% from a previous forecast of 4.2%. The Bank of England followed the Fed’s lead, forecasting a slightly stronger outlook for the UK economy on Thursday.

Oil in focus

Oil prices rebounded on the decision by several EU countries to restart AstraZeneca vaccinations after the European Medicines Agency declared the shots safe and effective.

Brent crude futures, the global benchmark, were last up 1.3% to $64.07 a barrel. US oil gained 2.4% to reach nearly $61 a barrel.

Brent and US futures both fell by roughly 7% Thursday on fears that the global economic recovery could be held back by fresh coronavirus outbreaks in Europe and slow vaccine rollouts.

“With the well-telegraphed vaccine distribution problems in Europe already weighing on the bloc’s markets,” news of big lockdowns in France “played no small part in oil’s demise,” wrote Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst for Asia Pacific at Oanda, in a Friday research note.

— Julia Horowitz and Anneken Tappe contributed to this report.

Article Topic Follows: Money

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