Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday.(Photo: Spencer Platt, Getty)
LONDON -- Stock futures on Wall Street were taking an upbeat tone on
Thursday, following a higher close in the prior trading session.
Jones Industrial Average futures were up 0.2% at 13,350, Standard &
Poor 500 futures advanced 0.2%, to 1,459, and Nasdaq-100 futures were
also up 0.2%, at 2,728. In regular trading on Wednesday, the Dow,
S&P and Nasdaq all saw out the market day with gains.
positive trade data out of China on Thursday boosted market sentiment
for the major regional benchmarks in Asia. Japan's Nikkei 225 index,
South Korea's Kospi index and the Hang Sang index in Hong Kong climbed
around 1% as China reported that its export growth more than quadrupled
from the previous month to 14% in December.
And in Europe, where
stocks were also extending gains, the European Central Bank was due to
make its latest monetary policy statement. The central bank is expected
to leave interest rates on hold at 0.75% for the 17 nations that
comprise the euro zone. The Stoxx Europe 600 index was trading in a
narrow range ahead of the announcement.
The price of crude oil
was on the rise -- sitting around $93.70 per barrel -- in electronic
trading; the dollar moved up against currency rivals the euro and the
Investors in the U.S. will be taking note of the release of weekly jobless claims due later Thursday.