Stock Futures Inch Up as Oil Recovers

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By Jacob Maslow

United States (U.S.) stock index futures rose on Wednesday after oil prices recovered ahead of Federal Reserve Chairperson Janet Yellen’s statement before the American Congress.

Yellen is expected to defend the Federal Reserve’s rate increase in December and likely elaborate on whether or not further hikes are needed this year.

Concerns over slowing global and U.S. economies, along with dropping oil prices have dampened investor’s expectations for additional rate increases this year.

Investors will be dissecting Yellen’s remarks before the House Financial Services Committee for indications on the Federal Reserve’s outlook on the economy. Interest rates have gone negative around the world amid the bleak outlooks in most markets.

Inconsistent policies from major central banks around the world have short-circuited financial stocks, especially in recent days. Fortunately, European banks rebounded on Wednesday, pushing up global stocks.

Global oil price, a major driver of market conditions, went up by about 2% on renewed hopes of production cutbacks by major oil producers after Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zangeneh told news reporters that Tehran was open to talking with Saudi Arabia about the possibility of limiting output to address the current oversupply of the market.

Janet Yellen is slated to deliver the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy report to the Financial Services Committee of the U.S. congress on Wednesday and before the Banking Committee of the U.S. senate on Thursday.

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