Futures edge up as oil rise continues

By @ibtimes on

Stock index futures rose on Monday, indicating Wall Street will recover from Friday's losses even as oil prices continued to spike on unrest in the Middle East and North Africa.

Brent crude rose 1.6 percent to $117.84 a barrel and U.S. oil futures were up 2 percent to $106.43 as fighting in Libya disrupted the nation's oil supplies and on renewed concerns of wider disruptions in the region.

Government troops seeking to dislodge rebels from Libya's coast advanced on an oil town amid accelerating humanitarian efforts to prevent civilian suffering from worsening and a mass refugee exodus.

OPEC is assessing the oil market to determine whether it should hold an extraordinary meeting, Qatar's Energy Minister said. But he added there was no supply shortage in the market.

In major oil producer Saudi Arabia, security forces detained at least 22 minority Shi'ite Muslims who protested last week over what they said was discrimination, according to activists.

S&P 500 futures gained 5.2 points and were above fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures rose 40 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures climbed 14 points.

Citigroup raised its price forecasts for Brent and West Texas intermediate crude for 2011 and 2012, in part citing a fear premium on threats of continued output disruptions.

In mergers-and-acquisition news, the London Stock Exchange is eyeing a takeover of U.S. rival Nasdaq OMX Group Inc , just weeks after the London bourse announced a merger with the Toronto stock exchange, the Sunday Times reported.

European equities edged higher, with Alcatel-Lucent SA leading technology shares higher after a brokerage upgrade, but strong oil prices limited market gains and caused Asian stocks to decline. <.

Wall Street erased most of its weekly gains on Friday as fears of more geopolitical turmoil and higher oil prices threaten to stifle rallies in coming weeks.

(Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)

Join the Discussion