Higher open likely for the U.S. markets, after important U.S. stock index futures, looked up on Wednesday morning.

At 7 a.m. ET, Dow Jones futures indicated a positive open of 151 points. Futures on the S&P and Nasdaq were also high. Investor sentiments had an upshot from the good results of retailers such as Target and Lowe’s.

But investors are eagerly waiting to see the minutes of the Federal Reserve’s last meeting. Coming today, it is expected to have hints on future rate cuts this year.

The upcoming annual speech of Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell at the Jackson Hole, Wyoming symposium on Friday will offer more clarity on the Fed’s future intentions.

On the data front, weekly mortgage applications are expected at 7 a.m. ET. Lowe's and Target will report before the bell while L Brands and Nordstrom will release the results after the bell.

European stocks jumped on Wednesday with pan-European Stoxx 600 higher by 0.8 percent in mid-morning trade. The EU Investors are also awaiting clues from the Fed minutes.

Oil price up

Oil prices jumped Wednesday. Brent crude oil futures moved beyond the $60 a barrel benchmark the first time in over a week. The trigger was the data that showed a larger-than-expected drop in the U.S. crude inventories.

However, trade war worries and concerns over a possible global recession capped broader gains. Brent crude gained 0.5 percent to $60.35 a barrel by 0403 GMT. The U.S. crude (WTI) was up 0.45 percent at $56.38 a barrel.

The data from industry group American Petroleum Institute (API) showed that U.S. crude oil stocks had fallen 3.5 million barrels in the week to Aug. 16. The analysts polled by Reuters were expecting a fall of 1.9 million barrels.

Government data on the latest inventory numbers are expected Wednesday from the Energy Information Administration.

Asian markets subdued

The stock market news on Asia markets had a bearish tone. The stocks were mostly down Wednesday. The selloff in stocks was described by some analysts as “deep-seated worries” among investors.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 shed 0.28 percent while the Topix index declined 0.61 percent. South Korea’s Kospi index was up 0.22 percent.

In mainland China, The Shanghai composite was up marginally while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index rose jumped 0.2 percent in afternoon trade.  GettyImages-Stock market Ap 23 Traders work after the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on April 18, 2019, in New York City. Photo: JOHANNES EISELE/AFP/Getty Images

Australia’s ASX 200 was down by 0.94 percent. India’s benchmark indices BSE sense and NSE Nifty also ended lower.

Gold price slips

Gold prices slipped on Wednesday and were stuck around the $1,500 level as investors were taking more caution ahead of the minutes from the U.S. Federal Reserve’s last meeting.

Spot gold fell 0.5 percent at $1,499.18 per ounce by 0948 GMT. The U.S. gold futures slipped 0.4 percent to $1,509.70.

Jigar Trivedi, a commodities analyst at Mumbai-based Anand Rathi Shares said: “fundamentals for gold remain positive as central bankers have increased their gold reserves amid geopolitical tension, trade spats and signals of a stimulus.”