US pre-open: Futures point to modest gains following Trump's 'good will' gesture
Wall Street futures had stocks opening a tad higher on Thursday, with markets' focus centred on global trade developments after Donald Trump agreed to hold off on additional tariff increases on Chinese goods for two weeks as a "gesture of good will".
As of 1230 BST, Dow futures were up 0.19%, while S&P 500 and Nasdaq-100 futures had the indices opening 0.12% and 0.34% higher, respectively.
The Dow closed up by 227.61 points on Wednesday, breaking above 27,000 for the first time since July, as the focus shifted between Apple's product launch a day earlier and trade relations between China and the US.
Trump's decision to delay further tariffs on Chinese imports buoyed hopes that trade tensions between the two global superpowers were beginning to thaw ahead of an expected meeting between top trade officials from Beijing and Washington next month.
On a related note, US Treasury Secretary, Steve Mnuchin, and Chinese vice premier, Liu He, both confirmed on Thursday that working level officials from the two sides were to meet during the following week.
Oanda's Craig Elam said: "We have apparently seen a thawing in relations between the US and China, following token gestures of goodwill between the two, so perhaps we're at least on the right track.
"Unfortunately, I'm not really convinced and don't think they represent a thawing of anything. We're no closer to a deal despite the niceties and more tariffs are coming. Investors don't really want to believe that though."
Elsewhere, investors were set to closely monitor the latest decision from policymakers at the European Central Bank at 1245 BST, looking for any signs that ECB president Mario Draghi's decision might lead to another round of monetary easing from central banks across the globe.
The Federal Reserve will meet next week, with the Bank of Japan and Bank of England also set to conclude policy meetings on 19 September.
On the data front, August's consumer price index and initial jobless claims for the week ended 7 September will be posted at 1330 BST. The US federal budget for August will follow at 1900 BST.
In corporate news, Kroger, Duluth and Broadcom will all publish their latest quarterly figures throughout the course of the day.