Wall Street open seen mixed, Chinese data supports

By @ibtimes on

Wall Street was set for a mixed open on Monday, with investors seen pausing for breath after indexes posted a second straight week of gains on Friday, with Chinese trade data and inflation talk seen supporting the market.

U.S. stock index futures for the S&P 500, Nasdaq and Dow Jones were down 0.1 percent to up 0.1 percent at 0943 GMT.

U.S. stocks ended Friday firmly in positive territory after Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's resignation fueled buying interest. The Egyptian military dissolved parliament on Sunday.

Overnight in Asia, China's trade surplus fell to its lowest in nine months in January after imports surged, data showed, supporting the government's case ahead of a G20 meeting that it is doing enough to spur domestic demand without speeding up currency appreciation.

Traders said China's consumer prices may have risen 4.9 percent in the year to January, well below the consensus forecast of 5.3 percent, helping stem monetary tightening concerns. The official data will be announced on Tuesday.

In European equity markets, the FTSEurofirst 300 <.FTEU3> rose 0.7 percent to a 29-month high in early trade on Monday on the Chinese data, with mining stocks among the top gainers.

London copper rallied above $10,000 early on Monday, while in Shanghai the metal rose 1 percent after a surprise jump in Chinese copper imports and hopes of continued restocking by the world's top consumer.

U.S. oil prices rebounded on Monday to near $86 a barrel, after sinking to a 10-week low in the previous session, as tension in the Middle East region dissipated following Mubarak's resignation.

U.S. companies reporting on Monday include Agilent Technologies , Fmc Technologies , Marriott International and Masco .

Major macroeconomic data due for release on Monday includes euro zone industrial data at 1000 GMT and U.S. NAHB housing market data at 1500 GMT.

General Electric Co , is to buy the well support division of British energy services firm John Wood Group for about $2.8 billion, the companies said on Sunday, the latest move by the largest U.S. conglomerate to boost its presence in oil services.

Dutch bioscience company Pantarhei intends to bid for the bulk of U.S. company Merck's Netherlands-based bioscience research unit Organan, the Dutch Financieele Dagblad reported on Monday.

Seadrill is considering spinning off its harsh environment activities segment.

Russia kicked off a massive privatization drive, with the country's second-biggest bank VTB raising 95.7 billion roubles ($3.26 billion) for the government via a secondary placement.

Global air travelers are expected to rise to 3.3 billion in 2014, up 32 percent from 2.5 billion in 2009, fueled by strong growth in China, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said on Monday.

Sanofi-Aventis has completed a review of the financial books and operations of takeover target Genzyme Corp , but the two sides continue to discuss a final price for a potential deal, according to The Wall Street Journal.

JPMorgan is planning on starting a fund of between $500 million and $750 million to invest in internet and digital media companies, the Wall Street Journal said.

Online gaming group Zynga Inc is holding talks with potential investors which could lead to it raising $250 million in new funding, the Wall Street Journal reported. That may give Zynga a valuation of between $7 billion and $9 billion, the paper said, citing unnamed sources.

(Reporting by Simon Jessop; Editing by Erica Billingham)

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