Futures rise as oil eases on production hike talk

By @ibtimes on

Stock index futures rose on Tuesday as oil prices pulled back on prospects of an OPEC production hike after recent turmoil in the Middle East and North Africa caused a spike in prices.

Brent crude dipped 0.3 percent to $114.70 a barrel and U.S. oil futures shed 0.2 percent to $105.20 after Kuwait's oil minister said OPEC was in discussions to hike production for the first time in two years.

Equity prices have been closely tied to the rise in oil recently, as investors worried that consumer spending may be curtailed, choking off an economic recovery.

Rebels fighting to overthrow Muammar Gaddafi have rejected an offer from the Libyan leader to negotiate his exit, even as they battled to hang on to early gains in the revolt.

S&P 500 futures gained 3.8 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 26 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures climbed 0.5 point.

The Nasdaq composite index <.IXIC> dropped 1.4 percent Monday and closed just above its 50-day moving average. If the index falls below the widely followed technical gauge, that could signal more declines in the technology sector that has helped lead a market rally.

Boeing Co sealed deals worth $10 billion with two airlines in China, the world's fastest growing market, and could lead to orders for more than 2,000 aircraft over the next five years.

Consumer electronics retailer Best Buy Co Inc said its China strategy will focus on expanding into inland cities, where consumption is booming and manufacturing groups are shifting production.

European shares gained on Tuesday, recovering from two days of losses as concerns over the impact of high crude prices on the economy eased. <.EU>

Japan's Nikkei benchmark edged higher as investors covered short positions after selling heavily on Monday, but analysts said gains may be limited on concerns about turmoil in the Middle East and high oil prices.

(Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)

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