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US futures inch higher after inflation softens, while oil rises again as stockpiles fall


US stocks have had a choppy week but futures pointed higher on Wednesday.

  • US futures climbed on Wednesday after stocks fell the previous day in the wake of key inflation data.
  • US CPI inflation came in at 5.3% in August year-on-year, cooling from July 5.4% reading.
  • OIl prices rose again after a report showed stockpiles fell last week, adding to supply concerns.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

US futures edged higher on Wednesday after stocks fell the previous day in the wake of a data release that showed inflation cooled in August.

Meanwhile, oil prices continued their upwards march beyond $70 a barrel after a report showed stockpiles fell again last week.

S&P 500 futures were 0.26% higher as of 4.45 a.m. ET, after the stock index fell 0.57% the previous day. Dow Jones futures were up 0.21% and Nasdaq 100 futures had climbed 0.32%.

Stocks fell in Asia overnight after data showed that Chinese retail sales growth slowed to 2.5% year-on-year, well below the 7% growth predicted by economists in a Bloomberg poll.

China’s CSI 300 dropped 1.01% and Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 0.52%.

In Europe, the continent-wide Stoxx 600 index slipped 0.09% in early trading while London’s FTSE 100 flatlined.

Markets were still digesting August’s US consumer price index inflation data, which was released on Tuesday and showed year-on-year inflation cooled to 5.3% in August from a 13-year high of 5.4% in July. Month-on-month, the US inflation rate slowed to 0.3%, from 0.5% a month earlier.

Stocks initially rose on Tuesday, but ended up closing lower as debate raged about whether the data showed the Federal Reserve is right to say that strong inflation will be transitory.

Bond yields fell on Tuesday in response to the data, which could encourage the Fed to keep up its support for the economy longer than previously expected.

The yield on the 10-year US Treasury note, which moves inversely to the price, was down slightly at 1.284% on Wednesday, having stood at 1.326% a day earlier. The dollar index fell 0.1% to 92.53.

“Supply shortage driven price pressures continue to ease, while the reopening-driven price boom is also starting to fade,” Seema Shah, chief strategist at Principal Global Investors, said of the inflation data.

“Even so, while the transitory aspects of inflation are fading, there are tentative signs of underlying inflation pressures that the Fed will undoubtedly be watching carefully,” she added, citing a rise in consumer inflation expectations.

Elsewhere in markets, oil prices rose for the fourth day in six after the American Petroleum Institute said nationwide crude stockpiles fell last week, according to Bloomberg, adding to fears about tight supplies.

WTI crude, the US benchmark, rose 0.89% to $71.09 a barrel, while Brent crude climbed 0.79% to $74.18 a barrel.

Bitcoin rose 0.8% to $47,179, regaining some momentum after a sharp fall last week that took the world’s biggest cryptocurrency from above $52,000 to below $46,000 within a day.



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