U.S. existing home sales, comments from Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, and the release of the National Bank of Belgium's business confidence index for May are the highlights of Friday's economic events as the United States prepares for the Memorial Day weekend with early closes in fixed income and equities.

At 9 a.m. EDT, the National Bank of Belgium will release its business confidence index for May, which is expected to rise to a reading of -5.5 from the previous -7.9 level in April.

At 10 a.m. EDT, the U.S. National Association of Realtors will release existing home sales for April. Economists are expecting sales of existing homes to come in at 4.85 million compared to the previous month's 4.93 million, a decline of 1.6% month-over-month. In March, sales were down 2.0%.



At noon EDT, markets will hear from German Economy Minister Michael Glos as he speaks at the anniversary of the IHK Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Frankfurt, Germany.

At 3:35 p.m. EDT, Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty will speak on the Canadian economy and global demand at the Wine Country Chamber of Commerce in Penticton, British Columbia.

At some time on Friday, the Bank of Canada will publish M1 money supply for April.

10:00 US Existing Home Sales April Exp: 4.85M Prior: 4.93M

10:00 US Existing Home Sales (M/M) April Exp: -1.6% Prior: -2.0%

12:00 EU Germany's Glos Speaks in Frankfurt

3:35 CA Fin Minister Flaherty speaks on the Canadian economy and global demands at an event in Penticton, B.C.

CA Canadian Money Supply April Prior: 7.8%

By Erik Kevin Franco and edited by Cristina Markham