Dow futures slip as markets await key monthly jobs data

U.S. stock index futures pointed to a slightly lower open on Friday as investors focused on the release of a key monthly jobs report.

Around 6:30 a.m. ET, Dow futures implied a negative open of more than 20 points. Futures on S&P 500 and Nasdaq were also slightly weak.

Market focus is largely attuned to nonfarm payrolls and unemployment data, expected at 8:30 a.m. ET on Friday. Economists forecast the U.S. added 165,000 jobs in June, after a stunningly low 75,000 payrolls were created in May, according to Dow Jones.


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A weaker-than-expected figure could increase bets that the Federal Reserve will cut interest rates at its meeting on July 30 and 31. The central bank opened the door to easier monetary policy last month by stating it will “act as appropriate” to maintain the current economic expansion.

Meanwhile, geopolitical tensions in the Middle East continue to dominate after the British Royal Marines seized a large Iranian oil tanker Thursday for trying to take oil to Syria in violation of EU sanctions, evoking fury in Tehran.

Oil prices were mixed in morning trade. U.S crude futures were down $0.48 at $56.86 per barrel, while Brent crude futures were up $0.28 at $63.58 per barrel. Both benchmarks were set for their biggest weekly declines in five weeks.

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