Stocks- U.S. Futures Rise As OPEC Meeting Underway

November 30
21:06 2017 – U.S. futures pointed to a higher opening bell on Thursday as ministers from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) meet to decide whether to extend their current production agreement beyond a March 2018 deadline.

The S&P 500 futures inched forward eight points or 0.31% as of 6:34 AM ET (11:34 AM GMT) while Dow futures rose 93 points or 0.39%. Meanwhile tech heavy Nasdaq 100 futures increased 21 points or 0.35%.

OPEC members will decide today on whether or not to expand their current production cut agreement. Under the original terms of the deal, OPEC and 11 other non-OPEC producers, led by Russia, agreed to cut output by about 1.8 million barrels per day for the first six months of 2017. The agreement was extended in May of this year for a period of nine months until March 2018 in a bid to reduce global oil inventories and support oil prices.

Financial stocks were among the top gainers in pre-market trading. Credit Suisse (SIX:CSGN) gained 3.42% while Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) was up 0.14% and the Royal Bank of Scotland (LON:RBS) increased 1.04%. Meanwhile Chinese e-commerce firm Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) surged 1.27%.

Elsewhere technology firm Juniper Networks Inc (NYSE:JNPR) slumped 5.74% after telecommunications firm Nokia (HE:NOKIA) denied it was preparing to buy the network. Nokia slipped 0.60% after the news.

The tax reform bill is also being closely watched by investors. On Wednesday the Senate voted to begin debate on the Republican version of the bill, bringing it closer to a final vote.

In economic news, the Commerce Department will publish data personal income and consumer spending for October, at 8:30AM ET (1330GMT).The data includes the personal consumption expenditures (PCE) inflation data, which is the Fed’s preferred metric for inflation. Investors will closely watch the reports for signals that the Fed will raise interest rates.

Stocks in Europe were up. Germany’s DAX surged 108 points or 0.83% while in France the CAC 40 increased 26 points or 0.50% and in London, the FTSE 100 rose 19 points or 0.26%. Meanwhile the pan-European Euro Stoxx 50 inched forward 22 points or 0.62% while Spain’s IBEX 35 was up 41 points or 0.40%.

In commodities, gold futures inched down 0.08% to $ 1,281.34 a troy ounce while crude oil futures increased 0.94% to $ 57.84 a barrel. The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, was up 0.11% at 93.32.

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