Stock index futures pointed to a lower open on Wall Street on Monday, with futures for the S&P 500 down 0.45 percent, Dow Jones futures down 0.44 percent and Nasdaq 100 futures down 0.16 percent at 0850 GMT (3:50 a.m. ET).

On Saturday, China's central bank raised interest rates for the second time in just over two months as it stepped up its battle to rein in stubbornly high inflation. The People's Bank of China said it will raise the benchmark lending rate by 25 basis points to 5.81 percent and lift the benchmark deposit rate by 25 basis points to 2.75 percent.

A winter blizzard moved across the northeastern United States on Monday, disrupting air and rail travel and forcing motorists to deal with blowing snow and icy roads at the end of the busy Christmas weekend.

Oil climbed to a 26-month high on Monday as the blizzard in the U.S. Northeast offset uncertainty over Chinese fuel demand following the Christmas Day interest rate hike.

The global economy can withstand an oil price of $100 a barrel, Kuwait's oil minister said on Saturday, as other exporters indicated OPEC may decide against increasing output through 2011 as the market was well supplied.

European stocks were down 0.8 percent in early trade, with thin volumes as UK markets remained closed, and as China's latest rate hike prompted investors to cash in a little portion of the strong gains made in December.

Auto stocks such as BMW and Daimler were down around 4 percent, surrendering some of their lofty gains made so far this year, as investors digested Beijing's new measures to limit new car registrations to tackle congestion in the country's capital.

U.S. stocks racked up a fourth straight week of gains last Thursday. The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> added 14.00 points, or 0.12 percent, to 11,573.49. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> edged down 2.07 points, or 0.16 percent, at 1,256.77. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> eased 5.88 points, or 0.22 percent, to 2,665.60.

(Reporting by Blaise Robinson, editing by Miral Fahmy)