US Markets

US futures point to higher open; investors digest ECB announcement

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U.S. stock index futures pointed to a higher open on Friday as traders eyed a remarkable post-election rally and digested a surprise monetary policy announcement from the European Central Bank (ECB).

ECB President Mario Draghi announced an extension of the central bank's bond buying program although he stunned investors by reducing the pace of monthly asset purchases. The move was seen by some traders as a first step towards tapering in the euro zone.

Meanwhile, U.S. equities rallied once again on Wednesday with the Dow Jones briefly rising more than 100 points higher before closing up by 60 points, Goldman Sachs contributed the most gains.

On the data front, Friday will see consumer sentiment and wholesale inventories which are both due to be reported at 10 a.m. ET.

On the earnings front, Vail Resorts posted quarterly results.

In Europe, the pan-European Stoxx 600 index was around 0.61 percent higher on Friday morning. In Asia, the Shanghai Composite in China closed 0.52 percent higher, while the Nikkei in Japan closed 1.23 percent higher.

In oil markets, Brent crude traded at around $54.18 a barrel on Friday, up 0.56 percent, while U.S. crude was around $51.27 a barrel, up 0.85 percent.

Oil prices sustained a second session of gains on Friday amid optimism that non-OPEC producers would be able to agree a production cut deal over the weekend.