Stock futures fall ahead of key inflation reading

US equity futures traded lower Thursday morning, ahead of the release of a key inflation report.

The major futures indexes suggest a decline of 0.8% when the opening bell rings on Wall Street.

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Soaring US inflation is expected to continue its surge with no sign of relief in sight, as the costs of consumer goods like gasoline and household items climb to new heights.

Economists polled by Reuters forecast that February’s CPI would hit 7.9% year-over-year, amid strong consumer demand and lingering pandemic-related supply chain woes. That survey was conducted before Russian President Vladimir Putin launched his war, putting further pressure on the global economy and sending gas prices to record highs.

CONSUMER PRICE INFLATION EXPECTED TO KEEP CLIMBING

The Labor Department will report its tally of new claims for unemployment benefits for last week. Expectations are for 216,000, little changed from 215,000 the previous week. Continuing claims, which track the total number of unemployed workers collecting benefits, are anticipated to edge down to 1,470 million, according to FactSet.

The price of oil resumed its move higher on Thursday morning after a sharp drop on Wednesday.

The market is examining whether major producers will raise supply in an attempt to help plug the output lost from Russia due to sanctions for its invasion of Ukraine.

OIL RISES AS MARKET LOOKS AT HOW TO FILL SUPPLY GAP

Benchmark US crude rose $ 4.39 to $ 113.11 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Brent advanced $ 5.36 to $ 116.50 per barrel in London.

The price of US crude fell 12% Wednesday, easing a run-up caused by fears that the war might disrupt Russian supplies.

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Bitcoin traded around $ 39,000.

In Europe, London’s FTSE was down 0.9%, Germany’s DAX fell 1.7% and France’s CAC declined 1.6%.

Traders are waiting at a European Central Bank meeting in the morning for any signs on how Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will affect monetary policy.

In Asia, the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo rose 4%, the Hang Seng in Hong Kong advanced 1.3% and China’s Shanghai Composite Index gained 1.2%.

Ticker Security Cargo Change Change%
I: DJI DOW JONES AVERAGES 33286.25 +653.61 + 2.00%
SP500 S&P 500 4277.88 +107.18 + 2.57%
I: COMP NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX 13255.545505 +459.99 + 3.59%

On Wednesday, the S&P 500 index rose 2.6% for its biggest daily gain in 12 years as prices swing wildly amid uncertainty about the impact of Russia’s war on Ukraine.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 2% to 33,286.25 and the Nasdaq composite gained 3.6% to 13,255.55.

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Investors expect Fed policymakers to vote at a meeting next week to raise the Federal Reserve’s benchmark short-term rate by one-quarter of a percentage point. It would be the first such increase since 2018.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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