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US stock futures rise, dollar flat ahead of jobs data

➤ US stock futures rise, Treasurys stable ahead of nonfarm payrolls.

➤ Trump signals potential delay in trade deal signing.

➤ Fed officials cautiously optimistic about US economy.

➤ Global equities largely higher; gold dips.

Wall Street looks set to open higher as investors await U.S. job numbers for December 2019 and next week's potential trade deal signing between the world's two largest economies.

U.S. President Donald Trump reportedly said the "phase one" trade deal with China may be signed shortly after Jan. 15, which he had previously set as the signing date. China already confirmed that vice premier and chief trade negotiator Liu He is set to travel to Washington, D.C., next week for the deal signing.

Trump also noted that he may wait until after the U.S. presidential election in November to finish "phase two" of the trade deal with China.

Futures for the S&P 500 added 0.3%, while those for the Nasdaq 100 were up by 0.5% as of 6:30 a.m. ET. The yield on 10-year Treasurys was flat at 1.86% while the dollar barely moved against major counterparts ahead of the release of U.S. payrolls and wage data, with expectations that the country added fewer jobs in December 2019 compared with the previous month.

"Such a read should contribute to halt the dollar's recent run, but — barring a significant drop in hiring — it is unlikely to prompt a repricing of Fed rate expectations," wrote ING strategists in a note.

Federal Reserve officials yesterday displayed some cautious optimism about the U.S. economy's prospects, showing no rush to change interest rates again after their three rate cuts in 2019. Except for the manufacturing sector, the U.S. economy appears to be holding up well for now, but the Fed could come under fire if the economy starts to slow as the November presidential election draws closer, said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK.

European equities moved slightly higher, with the region's Stoxx index up 0.2%, led by a 7% rise in shares of Ryanair Holdings PLC after the Irish airline raised its profit guidance for full year 2019. Germany's DAX index rose 0.4% and France's CAC 40 added 0.1%, while the U.K.'s FTSE 100 was virtually flat.

Asian stocks also traded higher, with the MSCI AC Asia ex Japan index rising 0.4% and the Nikkei 225 up 0.5%. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index rose 0.2%, the Shanghai SE Composite ticked down 0.1% and Taiwan's TAIEX index closed up nearly 0.5% ahead of general elections on the island.

In currencies, the euro dropped 0.1% against the dollar, while the yen lost 0.1% and sterling traded flat versus the U.S. currency. Elsewhere, the Australian dollar added 0.4% against its U.S. counterpart, while the Indonesian rupiah rose nearly 0.8% against the dollar.

Among commodities, Brent crude oil rose 0.2% to $65.51 per barrel on the ICE Futures Exchange. Gold dipped 0.2% to $1,550.80 per ounce.

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The day ahead:

8:30 a.m. ET — U.S. employment situation (Econoday consensus: nonfarm payrolls 158,000 monthly; average hourly earnings 0.3% monthly, 3.1% yearly; unemployment rate 3.5%)

8:30 a.m. ET — Canada labor force survey

10 a.m. ET — U.S. wholesale trade (Econoday consensus: 0% monthly)

1 p.m. ET — U.S. Baker-Hughes rig count