Thursday September 15th


US futures hold higher after slew of data

U.S. stock index futures indicated a higher open on Thursday as traders digested the release of one last big data dump before the U.S. Federal Reserve meets next week to decide on interest rates. Initial jobless claims came in at 260,000, slightly below expectations, while August PPI came in unchanged, missing expectations. Retail sales for August missed expectations, falling more than expected. Industrial production is due at 9:15 a.m., while business inventories will be released at 10:00 a.m. This last big blast of data before the Fed meets next week could stir up a final debate about whether there's a September rate hike in the offing. In Europe, the pan-European Stoxx-600 index was 0.2 percent higher on Thursday after the Bank of England kept interest rates unchanged. In Asia Japan's Nikkei closed 1.26 percent lower on Thursday. Markets were closed in China for a public holiday. In oil markets, Brent crude traded at $46.38 a barrel on Thursday, up 1.11 percent, while U.S. crude was at $43.98 a barrel, up 0.9 percent. On the earnings front, Oracle is set to report after the bell. Gold slipped on Thursday as the dollar and European equities steadied, curbing the metal's demand ahead of next week's U.S. Federal Reserve policy meeting. Spot gold rose marginally to $1,323.24 an ounce, with U.S. gold futures up 0.1 percent at $1,326.80.