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U.S. stock futures flat in thin trade with confidence data ahead

2016-12-27 20:08 | Network |

ter"> U.S. stock futures flat in thin trade with confidence data ahead
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© Reuters. Wall Street futures points to slightly higher open with consumer confidence data on tap - Wall Street futures pointed to a flat open on Tuesday in what was expected to be muted trade in the holiday season, though investors would focus on confidence data later in the session.

The blue-chip Dow futures inched up 4 points, or 0.02%, by 6:48AM ET (11:48GMT), the S&P 500 futures advanced 1 points, or 0.06%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 futures edged forward 4 points, or 0.08%.

The Dow looked unlikely to hit the 20,000 psychological mark on Tuesday as some traders returned to the floor after the long Christmas weekend.

Still, trading was expected to be thin with many desks having closed their books for the final week of trading in 2016, reducing liquidity in the market.

With the holiday season in the backdrop, trading had been muted for most of Tuesday’s session.

Asian stocks closed the session mixed though Japan’s Nikkei 225 managed to eke out slight gains despite a slew of negative data including inflation, unemployment, household spending or housing starts.

Europe also saw muted holiday trade with London’s FTSE still closed for the holidays. The benchmark Euro Stoxx 50 and Germany’s DAX 30 managed slight gains.

Traders on the Old Continent kept an eye on Italian banks after the European Central Bank (ECB) told Banca Monte dei Paschi that it would need to plug an €8.8 billion ($9.2 billion) capital shortfall, putting pressure on the European financial sector and Italian lenders in particular.

The ECB’s announcement came after the Italian government authorized a €20 billion ($20.9 billion) bailout of the world’s oldest bank.

Stateside, investors looked ahead to gauge consumer sentiment with the U.S. Conference Board set to publish its December consumer confidence at 10:00AM ET (15:00GMT) Tuesday.

Tuesday will also see the release of the S&P Case-Shiller HPI, due out at 9:00AM ET (14:00GMT). In addition, the Richmond Fed survey is to be released at 10:00AM ET (15:00GMT), followed by the Dallas Fed survey at 10:30AM ET (15:30GMT).

Ahead of the data, the U.S. dollar edged slightly higher against the other major currencies after the long Christmas weekend on Tuesday, holding near the strongest level since December 2002 as the market entered the last trading stretch of the year.

Gold was seeing some buyers enter the precious metal with prices up nearly 1%, near a two week high, after logging its seventh consecutive weekly decline last week. Headlines before the Christmas break late Friday pointed to the fact that Germany had brought back more of its gold reserves than initially planned.

Meanwhile, oil prices firmed amid thinning pre-New Year holiday trade on Tuesday, less than a week before major global oil producers scale back production in line with the deal they struck last month.

U.S. crude futures gained 0.32% to $53.19 by 6:50AM ET (11:50GMT), while Brent oil edged forward 0.02% to $55.91.

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