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US STOCKS-Futures drift higher as risk appetite increases



06:09 EST, 18 March 2016

06:09 EST, 18 March 2016

By Abhiram Nandakumar

March 18 (Reuters) – U.S. stock index futures were higher on
Friday, a day after the Dow Jones industrial average turned
positive for the year, as investors took to riskier assets.

* Global shares rose and the dollar weakened as the U.S.
Federal Reserve’s tempered position on interest rate hikes
continued to improve sentiment.

* Crude oil dipped slightly as traders booked profits from a
rally this week, but remained near 2016 highs on hopes that
major oil producers would reach a deal to freeze output.

* Wall Street drifted higher on Thursday, bringing the S&P
500 within shouting distance of a gain for 2016, as energy and
materials stocks rose. The Dow closed up 0.324 percent for 2016.

* With the Fed being cautious over rate hikes, investors
will now keep a close eye on global economic and financial
market conditions to gauge the impact of overseas weakness on
U.S. economy and earnings growth.

* U.S. data on Friday includes a preliminary reading of the
University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index, which is
expected at 92.2 for March, improving from a final reading of
91.7 last month. The report is due at 10 a.m. ET (1400 GMT).

* U.S. stock index futures also got a boost from contracts
set to expire on Friday.

* New York Fed President William Dudley, Boston Fed
President Eric Rosengren and St. Louis Fed chief James Bullard,
FOMC voting members, are scheduled to speak at separate events
through the day.

* Shares of Adobe were up 5.8 percent at $95.19
premarket after the Photoshop maker raised its full-year profit
and revenue forecasts above expectations.

* Tiffany was up 2.5 percent at $71.84 after

* Wynn Resorts rose 1.2 percent at $88.80 after
Deutsche Bank raised its price target on the stock.

Futures snapshot at 6:42 a.m. ET:

* Dow e-minis were up 46 points, or 0.26 percent,
with 18,102 contracts changing hands.

* S&P 500 e-minis were up 5.5 points, or 0.27
percent, with 162,691 contracts traded.

* Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 9.25 points, or 0.21
percent, on volume of 15,854 contracts.

(Reporting by Abhiram Nandakumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Don

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