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Top 5 things to know in the market on Friday By Investing.com

© Reuters. 5 key factors for the markets on Friday

Investing.com – Here are the top five things you need to know in financial markets on Friday, July 21:

1. Markets brace for big movers on earnings

Markets prepared on Friday to price in some large moves in stocks from big name companies that reported after the prior day’s close.

Shares in Microsoft (NASDAQ:) were up around 1.5% in pre-market trade as the computer giant produced late Thursday thanks to its fast-growing cloud business.

Visa Inc (NYSE:) was also expected to see gains of around 1% as the blue-chip credit card company after .

On the downside, eBay (NASDAQ:) showed losses of 4% in pre-market trade Friday as its numbers came out largely with expectations and its guidance failed to impress.

Investors will also focus Friday on reports from (NYSE:) or (NYSE:) scheduled for release before the opening bell even as markets brace for the following week, the .

2. All eyes on political developments surrounding Trump-Russia investigation

Investors were keeping an eye on continuing investigations into allegations that Russia meddled with the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Special counsel Robert Mueller is reportedly expanding his investigations into possible money laundering by Paul Manafort, U.S. President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager.

Trump has repeatedly denied allegations that he colluded with Russia, while The Wall Street Journal reported that Mueller may expand the investigation into the President’s private business.

The report came one day after Trump stated that investigating his personal finances would be crossing a red line.

The recent reports kept continuous downward pressure on the dollar as market players fretted over how the investigations would sidetrack the implementation of Trump’s fiscal and economic policies.

The , which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, slipped 0.11% to 93.98 by 5:56AM ET (9:56GMT).

3. Euro hovers near 2-year high against dollar post-ECB

Apart from weakness in the dollar from the political panorama stateside, the euro continued to be after European Central Bank (ECB) president Mario Draghi hinted on Thursday that the euro zone monetary authority could .

reached 1.1677 on Friday its highest level since August 2015 as markets took Draghi’s comments to mean that the ECB was slowly shifting towards taking a less dovish stance and beginning to consider a removal of policy accommodation.

ECB policymakers now see to decide on the future of the ECB’s asset purchases and consider December, an option flagged by staff, as too late, four sources with direct knowledge of the discussion told Reuters.

4. Oil moves higher ahead of OPEC meeting, U.S. rig count

y, with U.S. crude on track for weekly gains of 1%, as investors looked ahead to further data on U.S. drilling activity later in the session and waited for a gathering of oil producers at the beginning of next week.

The Joint OPEC/Non-OPEC Ministerial Monitoring Committee (JMMC), whose task is to monitor compliance with agreement to cut production, will likely not produce any official statements to change the current state of play in attempts to reduce the global supply glut when it gathers on Monday.

However, markets will pay close attention to any comments on the sidelines of the meeting amid speculation that Saudi Arabia is considering additional cuts in output while Libya and Nigeria may lose their exemption from the accord between major oil producers to cut production by 1.8 million barrels per day through March 2018.

Market participants will also eye the latest weekly data from Baker Hughes on U.S. drilling activity out later in the session.

Last Friday, the energy services company reported that U.S. drillers had added two oil rigs, which brought the total count up to , the most since April 2015, underlining concern that the ongoing rebound in U.S. shale production is derailing efforts by other major producers to rebalance the market.

gained 0.45% to $47.13 at 5:57AM ET (9:57GMT), while traded up 0.49% to $49.54.

5. Global stocks show mixed trade near record highs

After the and both hit intraday records in the prior session, U.S. futures showed caution as investors would focus on reactions to earnings in a day with no major economic reports. At 5:57AM ET (9:57GMT), the blue-chip slipped 0.06%, inched up 0.05% while the dropped 0.04%.

as corporate earnings were insufficient to counteract the somber mood of the previous session when a stronger euro weighed heavily on exporters. At 5:58AM ET (9:58GMT), the European benchmark lost 0.22%, Germany’s lost 0.24%, while London’s advanced 0.11%.

Earlier, , taking a breather from recent climbs. Japan’s and China’s ended around 0.2% lower.

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