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FILE PHOTO - Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., July 5, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Futures little changed ahead of June payrolls report

WT24 Desk

U.S. stock index futures were little changed on Friday, with the June non-farm payrolls data firmly on investors’ minds amid rising expectations of tighter monetary policy, Reuters reports.

* Investors are focused on wage growth and whether spending by consumers will be strong enough to back the Federal Reserve’s plan to raise interest rates once more this year.

* Nonfarm payrolls increased by 179,000 jobs last month after gaining 138,000 in May, according to a Reuters survey of economists. The Labor Department’s closely watched report is due at 8:30 a.m. ET (1230 GMT).

* Policymakers have taken opposing views on inflation after it retreated below the central bank’s 2 percent target in May, creating uncertainty over the future path of rate hikes.

* Adding to the jitters are bets that the world’s major central banks are moving closer to unwinding their ultra-loose monetary policies.

* Oil fell 3 percent after data showed U.S. production rose last week just as OPEC exports hit a 2017 high. Oil prices are down more than 16 percent this year, adding to low inflation concerns.

* Oil majors Exxon (XOM.N) and Chevron (CVX.N) were down about 0.3 percent in premarket trading.

* U.S. stocks ended sharply lower on Thursday due to a steep fall in technology stocks and a disappointing private sector hiring report. Rising tensions in the Korean peninsula also added to the pressure.

* Investors will be watching for developments from the G20 summit, which is underway in Germany, with focus on President Donald Trump’s first meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

* Tesla (TSLA.O) rose 1.8 percent after the luxury electric carmaker won an Australian contract to install the world’s biggest grid-scale battery. Tesla’s shares have fallen about 15 percent this week following the company’s lower-than-expected deliveries.

Futures snapshot at 6:58 a.m. ET:

* Dow e-minis 1YMc1 were down 5 points, or 0.02 percent, with 16,205 contracts changing hands.

* S&P 500 e-minis ESc1 were up 0.5 points, or 0.02 percent, with 95,748 contracts traded.

* Nasdaq 100 e-minis NQc1 were up 7 points, or 0.13 percent, on volume of 17,598 contracts.

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