WASHINGTON (dpa-AFX) - The major U.S. index futures point to a lower opening on Friday, after a higher close in the previous day. Crude oil prices slipped more than 1 percent in Asian trading ahead of next week's meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries. A slew of U.S. data are awaited, including Markit's flash PMI for September.
As of 6:15 am ET, the Dow futures are slipping 9 points, the S&P 500 futures are shedding 2.25 points and the Nasdaq 100 futures are slipping 5 points.
On the economic front, Markit is set to release preliminary results of its manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index for September at 9.45 am ET. Economists are looking for a slight decline, with the consensus at 52 compared to 52.1 last month.
Patrick Harker, President, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, will deliver prepared remarks at 12.00 pm ET. At 12.20 pm ET Atlanta's Dennis Lockhart and Cleveland's Loretta Mester will join Harker on a panel to discuss the role of Fed in the community in Philadelphia.
Dallas Federal Reserve Bank President Robert Kaplan will participate in a moderated Q&A session at 12.30 pm ET at the Texas Oil & Gas Association Lone Star Energy Forum in Houston. He will interact with media also. The Baker-Hughes rig count data is expected at 1.00 pm ET.
In the corporate sector, AAR Corp. (AIR) reported a decline in profit for the first quarter to $9.5 million, or $0.28 per share, compared to $22.9 million, or $0.65 per share last year.
The Hanover Insurance Group, Inc. (THG) named Jeffrey Farber as executive vice president and chief financial officer.
Novartis (NVS) announced top-line results from its Phase III ASCEND-4 clinical study for Zykadia in patients with advanced anaplastic lymphoma kinase-positive non-small cell lung cancer.
Asian stocks were mixed on the day, despite encouraging data. Chinese shares fell in thin trading as property stocks succumbed to selling pressure after recent sharp gains. The benchmark Shanghai Composite index of China closed down 8.42 or 0.28 percent at 3033.90. Hang Seng of Hong Kong declined 73.32 or 0.31 percent to 23686.48.
Japanese shares fell modestly, with a firmer yen and profit booking in financials weighing on markets. The Nikkei 225 Index of Japan closed down 53.60 or 0.32 percent at 16754.02. Australian shares rose for a fourth straight day and the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 closed 56.80 points or 1.06 percent higher at 5,431.30, posting a weekly gain of 2.5 percent, the biggest weekly gain in two months. The broader All Ordinaries index rose by 52.30 points or 0.96 percent to 5,518.60.
European stocks are mixed with CAC 40 declining 12.39 points or 0.28 percent. FTSE 100 is up 68.85 points or 1.01 percent at 6900.07, Euronext 100 is advancing 19.29 or 2.22 percent and DAX of Germany is up 225.58 or 2.16 percent at 10662.08. Swiss Market Index is climbing 31 points or 0.38 percent at 8268.45.
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