US pre-open: Futures point to mix open as investors await data

LONDON (ShareCast) – US stock futures pointed to a mixed open on Tuesday as investors awaited a raft of economic data. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is expected to open 17 points down, with the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq expected to begin the session approximately three points up and 11 points down.

US stocks declined late on Monday but looked set to offset global growth worries emanating out of China on Tuesday. Meanwhile, positive purchasing manager surveys in Europe sent the euro higher and US dollar lower.

The greenback fell 0.31% against both the yen and the euro and was largely stable against the pound, while gold futures rose 0.49%.

“The HSBC Flash China manufacturing PMI indicated contraction within the sector and fell to an eleven month low in a worrying sign for global growth,” said CMC Markets analyst Jasper Lawler.

“PMI’s from France were disappointing but this was overshadowed by better results from Germany and the Eurozone as a whole that support Mario Draghi’s claim that expansionary monetary policy is feeding through into the economy.” US consumer prices rebounded in February, as gasoline prices climbed for the first time in June, the Labor Department said.

According to figures released on Tuesday, Consumer Price Index (CPI (Other OTC: CPICQ – news) ) rose for the first time in four months February, climbing 0.2% after declining 0.7% in January.

The CPI was unchanged in the 12 months to February, after falling 0.1% in January.

Analysts had expected a 0.2% increase month-on-month and a 0.1% decline year-on-year.

The Markit flash manufacturing PMI is scheduled for release at 13:45 GMT, while new home sales for February are published at 14:00 GMT.

In company news, Whiting Petroleum (NYSE: WLL – news) shares plunged 21% in pre-market trading after the oil and gas firm announced a secondary stock offering, while Chesapeake Energy (Other OTC: CHKDP – news) rose almost 4% ahead of the bell after cutting its outlook for 2015 expenses on the back of falling commodity prices.

Oil prices rebounded, with Brent crude gaining 0.34% to $ 56.11 a barrel, while West Texas Intermediate crude rose 1.8% to $ 48.32 a barrel.

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