Futures decline as New York death toll stays above 700

US stocks booked best week since 1974

US stock market will reopen today after Good Friday holiday. Futures point to lower openings as the daily death toll for the New York state, the state with highest number of cases in US, topped 700 on Sunday for the sixth straight day. Market ended the holiday shortened week on positive note Thursday. The S&P 500 ended up 12.1% for the week at 2789.82, its best weekly gain since 1974. Dow Jones industrial rallied 12.67% to 23719.37. The Nasdaq ended 10.59% higher at 8153.58. The dollar weakening slowed while data showed consumer price index declined a more than expected 0.4% over month in March. The live dollar index data show the ICE US Dollar index, a measure of the dollar’s strength against a basket of six rival currencies, slipped 0.1% to 99.44 and is lower currently.

European markets will remain closed for Easter Monday

Markets in Britain, Germany, Switzerland and France will remain closed for Easter Monday today. Both the EUR/USD and GBP/USD continued climbing on Friday with both pairs higher currently. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index closed 7% higher last week. Last Thursday the Bank of England agreed to temporarily finance UK government deficit if funds cannot immediately be borrowed from debt markets. Pope Francis on Sunday proposed considering a universal basic income in a letter - “ a universal basic wage,” a proposal similar to providing free cash for everyone that was the basis of a US presidential candidate Yang Andrew Yang’s campaign.

Nikkei leads Asian indexes pullback

Asian stock indices are lower today. Nikkei lost 2.3% to 19043.40 as yen accelerated its climbing against the dollar. Stock markets in China are falling: the Shanghai Composite Index is down 0.5%. Markets in Hong Kong, Australia and New Zealand are closed for the Easter Monday holiday.

Brent retreats

Brent futures prices are pulling back today after major oil producers reached an agreement on crude oil output cuts. OPEC and major producers, collectively known as OPEC+, agreed to cut overall production by 10 million barrels a day starting on May 1 through June 30 of this year. The reductions would then ease to 8 million barrels per day from July 1 through December 31, followed by 6 million barrels in cuts from January 1, 2021 to April 30, 2022. The baseline for the cuts will be oil production in October 2018, except for Saudi Arabia and Russia, which will each cut from a baseline of 11 million barrels per day. Brent for June settlement fell 4.1% to $31.48 a barrel Thursday, losing 7.7% for the week.

Gold slips

Gold prices are inching lower today. Prices jumped on Thursday: gold for June delivery rose 4.1% to $1752.80 an ounce.