European stocks are expected to open higher Friday, while U.S. equity futures extended gains following a solid session in Asia boosted by stronger-than-expected trade data from China and a firming U.S. dollar ahead of the November employment report.
Benchmarks around the region are likely to trade solidly in the green at the opening bell, according to financial bookmakers IG, with Germany's DAX performance index called 0.6% higher and the main SMI index in Switzerland set for a 0.45% gain. Both will benefit from modestly softer domestic currencies, owing to the dollar's recent gains, which have pushed the euro to around 1.1760 in overnight trade.
Britain's FTSE 100, however, is likely to open in the red as the pound surges above the 1.35 mark against the dollar following reports of a potential agreement between London, Dublin and Brussels that will allow Brexit talks to move past the "divorce bill" stage and onto critical areas such as trade.
Wall Street futures are showing early signs of bullishness, as well, following solid gains from Thursday's session that were again led by the large-cap tech stocks. Futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average were marked 31 points, or 0.13% higher at the start of the European session, with a similar percentage gain anticipated for the broader S&P 500.
The dollar index, a measure of the greenback's strength against a basket of six global currencies, traded past a two-week high to extend its 5-day run past 1% at 93.85 in anticipation of a strong reading on both job creation and wage growth later today from the Department of Commerce.
The dollar's gains helped boost Asia stocks, which were also driven by stronger-than-expected trade data from China, which showed an 18% year-on-year surge in imports that suggests ongoing domestic consumer strength in the world's second-largest economy.
The MSCI Asia ex-Japan index was marked 0.13% higher as the session headed to a close while Japan's Nikkei 225 ended its week with a 1.39% gain to take the benchmark to 22,811.08 points.