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US equity futures flat, European stocks gain; pound picks up on Q3 GDP beat

➤US Treasury chief sees signing of 'phase-one' deal in early January.

➤UK financial watchdog Andrew Bailey to succeed Carney as BoE governor.

➤UK Q3 GDP growth upwardly revised.

➤Treasurys fall, dollar flat ahead of GDP data.

Wall Street stock futures struggled for direction while European equities advanced ahead of a U.S. data deluge, while sterling staged a rebound amid revised U.K. GDP growth numbers and the appointment of a new central bank head.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told CNBC yesterday that a "phase-one" trade deal with China would be signed in early January, helping lift sentiment across Wall Street.

The S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average ended the Dec. 19 session up nearly 0.5%, while the Nasdaq Composite index advanced 0.7%.

Futures for the S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 were broadly flat as of 5 a.m. ET ahead of the release of the final U.S. GDP data for the third quarter.

Global equities

In Europe, the FTSE 100 gained 0.3%, Germany's DAX jumped 0.8% and France's CAC 40 advanced 0.6%.

Asian equities were mixed as Japan's Nikkei 225 and the Shanghai SE Composite closed 0.2% and 0.4% lower, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng advanced 0.3%.

In currencies, sterling rebounded from yesterday's losses to trade 0.2% higher as revised data showed that the U.K. economy expanded 0.4% in the third quarter, up 0.1 percentage point from the previous estimate. The pound fell yesterday after two Bank of England policy makers voted to cut interest rates at its latest decision to keep benchmark rates unchanged.

Today, U.K. Chancellor Sajid Javid named Financial Conduct Authority CEO Andrew Bailey as the central bank's next head. Bailey, a former BoE deputy governor, is expected to broadly follow Mark Carney's footsteps for now, giving a "cautious" monetary policy committee the responsibility to navigate between economic weakness and lingering Brexit uncertainty, according to James Rossiter, head of global macro strategy at TD Securities.

Elsewhere, the euro was 0.2% lower at $1.1097, while the Japanese yen was little changed at 109.36 per dollar. The Dollar Index climbed 0.2% to 97.5370.

The yield on 10-year Treasurys added 2 basis points to 1.94% ahead of the release of the U.S. Fed's preferred inflation gauge. The 10-year German Bund yield rose 1 basis point to negative 0.23%.

Brent crude oil was down 0.4% to $66.30 per barrel on the ICE Futures Exchange. Gold fell 0.2% to $1,482.00 per ounce.

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The day ahead:

8:30 a.m. ET — U.S. GDP (Econoday consensus: 2.1% quarter over quarter)

8:30 a.m. ET — Canada retail sales (0.5% month over month)

8:30 a.m. ET — U.S. corporate profits

10 a.m. ET — Eurozone consumer confidence (Econoday consensus: -7.1)

10 a.m. ET — U.S. core personal consumption expenditure price index (Econoday consensus: 1.6% year over year)

10 a.m. ET — University of Michigan's U.S. consumer sentiment survey (Econoday consensus: 99.2)

11 a.m. ET — U.S. Kansas City Fed manufacturing index

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