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Futures Pointing To Higher Open On Wall Street

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The major U.S. index futures are pointing to a higher opening on Tuesday following the lackluster performance seen in the previous session.

Stocks showed a lack of direction during trading on Monday before the major averages ended the day modestly lower.

The Dow edged down 12.60 points or 0.1 percent to 22,761.07, the Nasdaq dipped 10.45 points or 0.1 percent to 6,579/73 and the S&P 500 slipped 4.60 points or 0.2 percent to 2,544.73.

The choppy trading on Wall Street came as many traders were away from their desks due to the Columbus Day holiday.

While the stock markets were open on the day, the bond markets, banks, and non-essential federal government offices were closed.

The economic calendar for the week subsequently starts off relatively quiet, although reports on producer and consumer prices and retail sales are likely to attract attention in the coming days.

The Federal Reserve is also due to release the minutes off its latest monetary policy meeting on Wednesday, potentially shedding some light on the outlook for interest rates.

Additionally, financial giants Citigroup (C), JPMorgan Chase (JPM), Bank of America (BAC), and Wells Fargo (WFC) are due to report their quarterly results later this week as the earnings season gets underway.

Steel, trucking and airline stocks saw considerable weakness of the day, while strength was visible among tobacco and gold stocks.

Commodity, Currency Markets

Crude oil futures are climbing $0.66 to $50.24 a barrel after rising $0.29 to $49.58 a barrel on Monday. Meanwhile, after jumping $10.10 to $1,285 an ounce in the previous session, gold futures are rising $6.90 to $1,291.90 an ounce.

On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 112.42 yen compared to the 112.68 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Monday. Against the euro, the dollar is valued $1.1792 compared to yesterday's $1.1740.

Asia

Asian stocks ended Tuesday's session on a mixed note as investors assessed political developments in Washington and awaited cues from the U.S. earnings season as well the minutes from the most recent Federal Reserve meeting due this week for direction.

The dollar treaded water on worries over North Korean provocations and amid diminished risk appetite after a top Republican senator sparred verbally with U.S. President Donald Trump.

Investors also kept an eye on developments in Catalonia as its President prepares to address the region's parliament on independence.

Chinese shares erased early losses to end higher after reports that the government is making efforts to restrain market swings before a key leadership reshuffle this month.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite index edged up 8.61 points or 0.26 percent to 3,382.99 while Hong Kong's Hang Seng index was up 164 points or 0.58 percent at 28,490 in late trade.

Japanese shares rose to close near their highest level in 21 years after the yen weakened over the weekend and Japan's current account surplus figures for August exceeded expectations.

The Nikkei average rose 132.80 points or 0.64 percent to 20,823.51 as trading resumed after a three-day weekend. The broader Topix index closed 0.47 percent higher at 1,695.14.

Canon, Panasonic, Toyota Motor and Tokyo Electron climbed 1-2 percent. Insurance stocks fell, with Tokio Marine, MS&AD Holdings and Sompo Holdings losing 3-5 percent. Kobe Steel shares plunged as much as 22 percent after the company admitted it had fabricated data for aluminium and copper products shipped to some 200 clients.

Seven & i Holdings rallied 2.5 percent on a Nikkei report that the convenience store operator was likely to post 6 percent growth in operating profit for the March-August period.

Australian shares gave up early gains to end marginally lower. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index ended marginally lower at 5,738.10 while the broader All Ordinaries index finished little changed with a positive bias.

Miners reversed early losses to end mixed amid signs of weakening demand in China. Banks also ended mixed, with ANZ and Westpac rising about 0.2 percent while Commonwealth slid half a percent and NAB declined 0.3 percent.

In economic news, the latest survey from National Australia Bank revealed that business confidence in Australia ticked slightly higher in September, with an index score of +7, up from +5 in August. The business conditions index came in unchanged with a score of +14.

Europe

European stocks were slightly lower in cautious trade on Tuesday as the euro rose against the dollar on speculation over the ECB's future course of action and investors awaited the Catalan President Puigdemont's key address to regional Parliament on independence.

The pan-European Stoxx Europe 600 index was down 0.1 percent at 389.83 in late opening deals after rising 0.2 percent in the previous session.

The German DAX was moving down 0.2 percent and France's CAC 40 was declining 0.1 percent while the U.K.'s FTSE 100 was rising 0.2 percent.

The pound surged against the euro after British Prime Minister Theresa May told MPs the U.K. is preparing for a 'no deal' Brexit, if talks with EU fail.

Spanish financial services firm CaixaBank fell over 2 percent and Banco Santander declined 1.8 percent ahead of the key speech by Catalonia's leader Carles Puigdemont.

Swiss fragrance and flavours maker Givaudan rallied 3.7 percent after reaffirming its 2020 targets.

Capita shares jumped over 2 percent in London. The outsourcing firm has named former Amec boss Jonathan Lewis as its chief executive officer with effect from December 1.

Vedanta Resources fell 2.3 percent after unveiling its second-quarter and half-year production results.

Dassault Aviation tumbled 3 percent on news that its Falcon 5X is facing new delays.

LVMH share rose 2.2 percent after the French luxury goods firm reported a 14 percent increase in revenues for the first nine months of 2017.

In economic releases, German foreign trade surplus increased in August, as exports grew faster than imports, data from Destatis showed.

French industrial production declined unexpectedly in August, after rebounding in the previous month, statistical office Insee said.

British industrial production grew 0.2 percent month-on-month in August, slower than the 0.3 percent increase seen in July, official data showed.

Another report showed that the U.K. visible trade deficit rose to GBP 14.24 billion in August from GBP 12.82 billion in July.

U.S. Economic Reports

At 10 am ET, Minneapolis Federal Reserve President Neel Kashkari is scheduled to speak at Regional Economic Conditions Conference in Minneapolis.

Dallas Federal Reserve Bank Rob Kaplan is due to participate in a moderated Q&A session at Stanford Institue for Economic Policy Research Associates Meeting in Stanford at 8 pm ET.

by RTT Staff Writer

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