Breaking News

Top 5 Things to Know In the Market on Friday

Stock MarketsApr 21, 2017 05:49AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
© Reuters. 5 key factors for the markets on Friday - Here are the top five things you need to know in financial markets on Friday, April 21:

1. Eyes on run up to French election

All eyes were on France Friday after a French policeman was shot dead and two others were wounded in central Paris on Thursday night in an attack claimed by the Islamic State militant group.

The attack came as market participants were eyeing the first round of the French presidential election due on Sunday, as recent polls have forecast the most likely outcome to be centrist Emmanuel Macron against far-right candidate Marine Le Pen.

Le Pen, well known for her anti-immigration stance, called on the government to immediately reinstate French borders and to expel foreigners monitored by intelligence services due to Thursday night’s incident.

In what is considered to be a close call of first round voting, investors are fearful over the prospect of a second round run-off, scheduled for May 7, between euro skeptics Le Pen and far left candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon, who both want to put the country’s European Union membership to a vote.

A victory from either party would be bearish for the euro and currency traders are set to start work in Australia before dawn Monday, as market players remember polls’ failure to predict the outcome of both the Brexit vote and the U.S. presidential election last year.

2. Global stocks show muted trade

Global stocks saw mostly muted trade on Friday as investors weighed in on a terrorist attack in Paris ahead of the first round of French elections.

Investors took a cautious stance in European equities while waiting for the results of the vote on Sunday with the Euro Stoxx 50 down 0.4% and Paris’ CAC 40 unwinding the prior day’s surge with losses of 0.6%.

Asia saw mixed trade but Japan's Nikkei 225 surged 1% as the country’s central bank chief Haruhiko Kuroda said he will keep accommodative policy in place.

U.S. futures pointed to a muted open as investors took a breather after U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that the administration was close to "major tax reform”, sending Wall Street higher on Thursday. At 5:46AM ET (9:46GMT), the blue-chip Dow futures inched up 0.01%, S&P 500 futures edged forward 0.05% and the Nasdaq 100 futures advanced 0.17%.

3. European economic activity hits 6-year high with U.S. PMIs on tap

On the data front Friday, investors were focused on readings of activity in manufacturing and service sectors on both sides of the Atlantic.

The euro zone composite purchasing managers’ index (PMI) registered a six-year high in April, pointing to an increase in growth at the start of the second quarter.

Stateside, Markit will release its PMIs for the U.S. at 9:45AM ET (13:45GMT) Friday.

Additionally, the National Association of Realtors will publish its report on existing home sales at 10:00AM ET (14:00GMT).

4. Oil on track for biggest weekly decline in a month

Oil traded near the unchanged mark on Friday, but was on track for weekly losses of more than 5%, its biggest decline in a month as U.S. gasoline stockpiles showed their first increase since February.

Investors were also cautious ahead of the latest weekly data on U.S. drilling activity which has been ramping up and threatening to counteract a deal between OPEC and non-OPEC countries including Russia to cut production in an attempt to reduce the global supply glut.

Last week, Baker Hughes said the weekly U.S. rig count rose by 11 to 683, for the thirteenth straight weekly increase near two-year highs.

U.S. crude oil futures slipped 0.02% to $50.70 at 5:48AM ET (9:48GMT), while Brent oil edged down 0.04% to $52.97.

5. Fed steps up pace on balance sheet normalization strategy

The Federal Reserve (Fed), intent on moving ahead with monetary policy normalization, has reportedly intensified discussions to plan out how it will shrink its $4.5 trillion balance sheet in a process that many Fed officials have said could start “later this year”.

Staff from the U.S. central bank are widening their consultations to bond fund managers in order to decide how they should tailor and communicate the balance sheet normalization as it seeks to exit its holdings of Treasuries and mortgage-back securities, according to a Bloomberg report.

The New York Fed’s regular survey of market participants, which is due back Monday, included several questions on the eventual balance-sheet exit, focusing on timing of the announcement to how many months it would take to shrink to a more appropriate level, according to the news agency.

Recent week data had caused markets to scale back expectations for rate hikes from the Fed, something that Goldman Sachs warned could be an underestimation of the factors that point towards a steady and continuous policy tightening.

As of Friday, Fed fund futures put the odds of the first hike in June at 54.5% but priced in the probably of the central bank following through on its promise for two increases this year at only around 32%, according to’s Fed Rate Monitor Tool.

Top 5 Things to Know In the Market on Friday

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind: 

  • Enrich the conversation
  • Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed.
  • Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically.
  •  Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and links within a comment will be removed
  • Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user.
  • Don’t Monopolize the Conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also believe strongly in giving everyone a chance to air their thoughts. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
Post also to:
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
Kim Boesgaard Lauritsen
Kim Boesgaard Lauritsen Apr 21, 2017 6:57AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Thanks for you daily 5 points, it makes clear to what to look for. Have a Great weekend. Greetings from Denmark.
0 0
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.
Continue with Google
Sign up with Email