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* Futures up: Dow 0.12%, S&P 0.23%, Nasdaq 0.41%
By Medha Singh
Aug 8 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures inched higher on Thursday as better-than-expected Chinese trade data and a steadying of its currency offered some comfort to investors rattled by an escalation in trade tensions and signals pointing to a recession.
The yuan regained some ground even as China's central bank set its official midpoint below the seven to the dollar threshold. Exports from the world's second-largest economy posted a surprise rise, while imports fell less than forecast.
The latest data soothed some nerves after the S&P 500 on Monday posted its steepest percentage fall this year as the yuan slumped to its lowest in a decade.
Signals from the bond market were ominous as well, with a closely watched U.S. recession indicator reaching its highest level since March 2007 on Tuesday.
While the benchmark index has enjoyed a slight relief in the past two days, it still stands about 5% away from its record closing high hit last month.
At 6:53 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 32 points, or 0.12% and S&P 500 e-minis were up 6.75 points, or 0.23%.
Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 31 points, or 0.41%.
Shares of Symantec Corp and Advanced Micro Devices Inc bolstered futures for Nasdaq 100. Symantec jumped 12.3% after sources said chipmaker Broadcom Inc is in advanced talks to buy the cybersecurity company's enterprise business.
AMD gained 5% after the chipmaker released the second generation of its processor chip for data centers and said that it had landed Alphabet Inc' Google and Twitter Inc as customers.
Lyft Inc advanced 5.4% after the ride hailing service raised its outlook for the year and forecast a faster path to profitability.
Rival Uber Technologies Inc, due to report quarterly results after the bell, rose 4%.
Shares of Walt Disney Co rose 1.1% after Credit Suisse upgraded its shares to "outperform" on positive investor sentiment as its video streaming service Disney+ closes in on its U.S. launch.
Shares of CenturyLink Inc fell 5.7% after the telecommunications services provider missed second-quarter revenue estimates. (Reporting by Medha Singh in Bengaluru Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)