Wall Street eyes dollar strength, Apple launch

U.S. stock index futures pointed to a flat open on Friday, as the greenback built on Thursday’s gains ahead of the Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) Watch launch.

On Friday, the U.S. dollar index (Exchange: .DXY), which measures the greenback against a basket of other currencies, extended gains to hit a three-week high. It surged more than 1 percent Thursday, as the euro sank to $ 1.06 and U.S. Treasury yields rose.

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Apple shares will be in focus on Friday, as tech behemoth’s wearable smartwatch becomes available for pre-order, ahead of a release date set for April 24. Customers will need an appointment to try the watch, which can be booked online through the Apple Store or iOS Apple Store App.

General Electric shares will also be in focus, after the company announced a major restructuring of GE Capital, including the sale of most of the unit’s assets, and will institute a $ 50 billion stock buyback program with proceeds from the move. GE shares were up about 6 percent in pre-market trading.

Data expected Friday includes the Treasury’s budget statement at 2:00 p.m. ET, which is expected to show that the budget deficit increased to around $ 45 billion in March.

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Import price data for March, is also due at 8:30 a.m. ET, and is likely to point to accelerating price falls, not least due to the marked dollar appreciation this year.

No significant earnings reports are expected.

Richmond Federal Reserve President Jeffrey Lacker speaks at 8:45 a.m. on the economic outlook.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 (FTSE International: .FTEU3) Index was at its highest since 2000 early on Friday, according to Reuters. Markets resumed a rally on the back of extra liquidity in the euro zone and some major merger and acquisition news this week.

-CNBC’s Peter Schacknow contributed to this report.

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