The U.S. stock index futures inched higher on Friday ahead of a vital jobs report and as China launched a stimulus plan to shore up its flagging economy.
China’s central bank mentioned it would cut back the amount of cash that banks must maintain as reserves, releasing a sum of 900 billion yuan ($126.35 billion) in liquidity.
The Labor Division’s nonfarm payroll records are more likely to show that the U.S. economy added 158,000 jobs in August, in contrast with a gain of 164,000 in July, in response to a survey of economists.
The month-to-month report, due at 8:30 a.m ET, shall be strictly observed after a clutch of financial data from earlier this week offered mixed views on the U.S. economy during the drama of a drawn-out trade battle with China.
Data exhibiting a contraction in U.S. factory activity in August deadened markets Tuesday; however, diffusing political tensions in Hong Kong and hopes of a de-escalation in U.S.-China trade spats helped boost shares to one-month highs later in the week.
Markets have also been driven by robust progress in private payrolls and an accelerating services industry. The benchmark S&P 500 surged 1.3% Thursday, closing 1.75% away from its record high two months ago.
Analysts have said that weak jobs numbers could put additional pressure on the Federal Reserve to chop rates of interest by up to 50-basis points in its mid-September meeting. Market contributors are currently expecting a 0.25% point cut.
Investors may even keep a close watch on Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s speech at the University of Zurich, scheduled for 12:30 p.m. ET, which might provide additional tips on the monetary policy before the central bank tip into a quiet period ahead of its Sept. 17-18 meeting.