In Asia, Futures pointed to a higher open for equities in Japan. Nikkei futures traded in Chicago were up 0.25 percent at 20,150 and Osaka futures 0.15 percent higher at 6:17 a.m. HK/SIN compared to the benchmark index’s Thursday close of 20,099.81.
Meanwhile, Australian SPI futures were off 0.92 percent at 5,684 compared to the S&P/ASX 200’s last close of 5,736.768.
On Wall Street, stock closed slightly higher ahead of earnings season. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 0.1 percent, or 20.95 points, to close at 21,553.09, the S&P 500 advanced 0.19 percent, or 4.58 points, to end at 2,447.83 and the Nasdaq gained 0.21 percent, or 13.27 points, to finish at 6,274.44.
Oil prices were higher overnight as China customs data showing strong demand from the world’s second-largest economy offset higher levels of production noted in an International Energy Agency report. Brent crude futures rose 68 cents to settle at $48.42 a barrel and U.S. crude settled higher by 59 cents at $46.08.
In currencies, the dollar index, which measures the dollar against a basket of currencies, traded at 95.728 at 6:53 a.m. HK/SIN. The dollar edged up against the yen to trade at 113.28, off a session low of 113.23, but still below levels around 113.9 seen earlier in the week.
The Australian dollar continued its upward trend to trade at its highest levels since March this year. The currency had risen earlier on the back of strong China trade data released Thursday. The Aussie dollar last traded at $0.7728, above the $0.76 handle seen earlier this week.
In Asia, Taiwanese tech shares could be set for moves after chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (TSMC) forecast a rise in revenues for the third quarter. Meanwhile, optical lens supplier Largan Precision reported a fall in quarterly net income, according to local media.
On the economic calendar, Singapore is expected to release advance second-quarter GDP data at 8:00 a.m. HK/SIN. Japan industrial production for May is due later in the session.