U.S. stock index futures point to a lower opening Monday as investors remained cautious while waiting for the central banks around the world to announce stimulus measures to recover the economic growth.
Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average were down 0.20 percent, futures on the Standard & Poor's 500 index were down 0.10 percent and those on the Nasdaq 100 index were down 0.30 percent.
Investors are waiting for the Federal Open Market Committee's (FOMC) statement on the monetary policy Wednesday. Hope for additional stimulus measures at the FOMC meeting has intensified among market players. The FOMC is expected to announce easing measures to rejuvenate the faltering U.S. economy.
A run of weaker U.S. data has led to growing hopes that the Federal Reserve will ease policy further. Investors are hoping that the debt crisis faced by the euro zone and the faltering U.S. economy will push the Fed to take these quantitative easing measures to regain the economic growth momentum.
Investors are high on hopes after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi last week pledged to do whatever it took to save the euro zone from a collapse. His accompanying assessment that the size of the sovereign premium hampered the functioning of the monetary policy transmission channel has been taken by market players as a strong hint that the ECB is considering bringing back to life its securities markets program.
On Friday, the U.S. markets gained as investor sentiment turned positive with hopes on the stimulus measures to be announced by the Fed. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.46 percent, the S&P 500 Index advanced 1.91 percent and the Nasdaq Composite Index was up 2.24 percent.
Major European indices rose as investor confidence was lifted amid hopes of monetary easing measures from the ECB to rejuvenate the euro zone economy. London's FTSE 100 was up 13.71 points, Germany's DAX 30 Index rose 52.56 points and France's CAC 40 advanced 26.24 points.
Asian stocks also rose following global cues. Japan's Nikkei gained 0.80 percent or 68.80 points to 8635.44, Hong Kong's Hang Seng rallied 1.62 percent or 311.54 points to 19586.50 and South Korea's Seoul Composite rose 0.80 percent or 14.63 points to 1843.79 while India's benchmark BSE surged 1.53 percent and Chinese Shanghai Composite fell 0.89 percent.