WASHINGTON (dpa-AFX) - Stocks are likely to come under pressure in early trading on Friday, extending the downward trend seen over the past several sessions. The major index futures are currently pointing to a notably lower open for the markets, with the Dow futures down by 362 points.
Concerns about the outlook for the global economy are likely to continue to weigh on Wall Street following aggressive interest rate hikes by central banks around the world.
Traders remain concerned the central banks' efforts to combat elevated inflation will push the global economy into a recession.
The Federal Reserve raised interest rates by another 75 basis points earlier this week and signaled more significant rate hikes later this year.
While the Fed's projections pointed to an eventually tapering of rate hikes by next year, traders worry about the outlook for the global economy in the months ahead.
Late in the trading day, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell is scheduled to give opening remarks before a Fed Listens: Transitioning to the Post-pandemic Economy event.
Fed Vice Chair Lael Brainard and Fed Governor Michelle W. Bowman are also due to moderate conversations at the Fed Listens event.
Stocks once again saw late-day fluctuations but ended Thursday's trading mostly lower, adding to the steep losses posted on Wednesday. The Dow and the S&P 500 fell to three-month closing lows, while the Nasdaq slid to its lowest closing level in well over two months.
The major averages all closed in negative territory, although the Dow posted a relatively modest loss. While the Dow dipped 107.10 points or 0.4 percent to 30,076.68, the S&P 500 shed 31.94 points or 0.8 percent to 3,757.99 and the Nasdaq tumbled 153.39 points or 1.4 percent to 11,066.81.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly lower on Friday, with the Japanese markets closed for a holiday. China's Shanghai Composite Index slid by 0.7 percent, while Australia's S&P/ASX 200 Index plunged by 1.9 percent.
The major European markets have also shown significant moves to the downside on the day. While the German DAX Index has plummeted by 2.1 percent, the French CAC 40 Index is down by 2.0 percent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index is down by 1.8 percent.
In commodities trading, crude oil futures are tumbling $2.58 to $80.91 a barrel after climbing $0.55 to $83.49 a barrel on Thursday. Meanwhile, after inching up $5.40 to $1,681.10 an ounce in the previous session, gold futures are slumping $28 to $1,653.10 an ounce.
On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 142.89 yen versus the 142.39 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Thursday. Against the euro, the dollar is valued at $0.9754 compared to yesterday's $0.9836.
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