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Stocks - U.S. Futures Inch Higher with Fed Officials on the Radar

Investing.com - Wall Street pointed to a slightly higher open on Thursday, as markets weighed ongoing worries about global growth against hints of future support from the Federal Reserve and other central banks.

The blue-chip Dow futures gained 48 points, or 0.2%, to 26,212.5 points by 7:12 AM ET (11:12 GMT), the S&P 500 futures advanced 4 points, or 0.2%, to 2,898.88 points, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 futures traded up 9 points, or 0.1%, to 7,649.88 points.

Minutes from the Fed's last policy meeting indicated that it no longer expected to hike interest rates this year and that several policy-makers were open to the idea that the next move in rates could be down rather than up.

Market focus will likely be on Fed Vice Chairman Richard Clarida’s speech on the U.S. economic outlook and monetary policy at 9:30 AM ET (13:30 GMT) amid several appearances from fellow Fed policymakers throughout the day, including John Williams, James Bullard, Randal Quarles, Neel Kashkari and Michelle Bowman.

Ahead of Clarida’s appearance, there will also be initial jobless claims and March producer price inflation figures at 8:30 AM (12.30 GMT).

Elsewhere, European Union officials agreed to give U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May a “flexible” extension to the Brexit deadline which is now set to last until Oct. 31 unless U.K. lawmakers approve the negotiated Withdrawal Agreement earlier.

Outside of equities, the U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback against six rival currencies, was little changed at 96.59 by 7:14 AM ET (11:14 GMT), while the yield on the 10-year Treasury inched up 0.7 basis points to 2.49%.

In commodities, gold futures fell 0.6% to $1,306.35 a troy ounce, while crude oil traded down 0.9% to $64.06 a barrel.

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