Stock Futures Gain as Yen Drops to Four-Year Low, German Exports Rise
NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Stock futures were pointing to a rebound Friday as overseas markets rallied on big yen-to-greenback moves driven by optimism about the U.S. economy and an encouraging German economic report.
G-7 finance ministers and central bank chiefs begin a two-day meeting in the U.K., where they are expected to talk about ways to bolster the slow global economic recovery.
"It's a headline-moving market and early headlines are focusing on the yen and German March trade data," Jonathan Corpina, senior managing partner at Meridian Equity Partners said in an email.
Futures for the S&P 500 were rising 1.5 points, or 2.83 points above fair value, to 1,626.
Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were higher by 21 points, or 25.38 points above fair value, to 15,065. Futures for the Nasdaq were ahead by 5.5 points, or 6.18 points above fair value, to 2,963.5.
The Nikkei 225 in Japan settled higher by 2.9% to a five-and-a-half year high of 14,607.54 led by exporter and financial stocks as the Japanese currency breached the 100 yen to U.S. dollar mark for the first time since April 2009 as investors became more optimistic about the U.S. economy after strong reports on the U.S. labor market. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index finished up 0.47% to 23,321.22, its highest level in nearly three months, spearheaded by cyclical stocks, despite mixed China data.
European markets gained after the Federal Statistics Office in Wiesbaden reported that German exports rose in March after falling in February, fueling optimism that Europe's biggest economy is improving from the contraction that set in at the end of 2012 and after a handful of stronger-than-anticipated corporate earnings releases.
The FTSE 100 in the U.K. was rising 0.14% while the DAX in Germany was gaining 0.19%, both easing off intraday highs.
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is expected to begin speaking at the Chicago Fed banking conference at 9:30 a.m. EDT.