US stocks edge higher on blockbuster tech earnings, while Asian equities dip on concerns of tighter market regulation

Traders work during the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange

US stock futures rose on Friday as investors focused on strong tech earnings, and shrugged off underwhelming economic data ahead of next week’s Federal Reserve meeting.

Futures on the Dow Jones, S&P 500, and Nasdaq rose 0.4%, signaling a higher start to trading later in the day.

A fresh round of company earnings saw tech stocks outperform, with both Snap and Twitter beating earnings estimates and rising in after-hours trading. Facebook and Alphabet shares also rose in extended trading.

US initial jobless claims for the week ended Saturday came in at 419,000, far above expectations of 350,000, but analysts said this was dismissed by investors as “seasonal.”

Separately, the potential $US1 ($AU1) trillion infrastructure deal is getting closer to the finish line with many senators expecting it to move forward early next week.

Across the Atlantic, the European Central Bank said on Thursday that interest rates are expected to remain at their present or lower levels, and that it would tolerate inflation levels above its 2% target.

The bank’s dovish tone helped European stocks rise ahead of the July Purchasing Managers Index readings due from France, Germany, and the wider eurozone, which should provide insight into how several economies fared early in the third quarter.

London’s FTSE 100 rose 0.6%, the Euro Stoxx 50 rose 0.6%, and Frankfurt’s DAX rose 0.5%.

The final Euro Area composite PMI for June hit a 15-year high of 59.5, while the number for the US was 63.7 – its second-strongest reading on record. During economic downturns, readings as low as 45 are expected ordinarily, while during expansion PMIs tend to linger in the mid-50s range.

Equities elsewhere in Asia were mostly lower over concerns of tighter regulation. Regulators in China are said to be considering severe sanctions on Didi Global following its US IPO, sending its US-listed stock 11% lower as of Thursday’s close.

“That news, part of a relentless domestic big-tech crackdown by China, appears to be weighing on early sentiment in China markets,” said Jeffrey Halley, a senior market analyst at OANDA.

The Shanghai Composite fell 0.6% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 1.5%. Markets in Japan were closed for a public holiday.

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