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Futures Edge Lower As Producer Prices Climb More Than Expected

After ending the yesterday’s lackluster session narrowly mixed, stocks may move to the downside in early trading on Tuesday. The major index futures are currently pointing to a modestly lower open for the markets, with the S&P 500 futures down by 0.1 percent.

The futures edged lower following the release of a Labor Department report showing producer prices in the U.S. increased by more than expected in the month of April.

The Labor Department said its producer price index for final demand climbed by 0.5 percent in April after a revised 0.1 percent dip in March.

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Economists had expected producer prices to rise by 0.3 percent compared to the 0.2 percent uptick originally reported for the previous month.

The report also said the annual rate of producer price growth accelerated to 2.2 percent in April from a downwardly revised 1.8 percent in March.

The year-over-year producer price growth was expected to inch up to 2.2 percent from the 2.1 percent originally reported for the previous month.

The data may lead to renewed uncertainty about the outlook for interest rates ahead of the release of more closely watched consumer price inflation data on Wednesday.

Nonetheless, overall activity may be somewhat subdued in early trading ahead of remarks by Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell.

Powell is scheduled to participate in a moderated discussion with De Nederlandsche Bank President Klaas Knot at the annual general meeting of the Foreign Bankers’ Association.

Following the strong upward move seen last week, stocks turned in a relatively lackluster performance during trading on Monday. The major averages moved to the upside early in the session but spent the day bouncing back and forth across the unchanged line.

The major averages eventually ended the day narrowly mixed. While the Nasdaq rose 47.37 points or 0.3 percent to 16,388.24, the S&P 500 edged down 1.26 points or less than a tenth of a percent to 5,221.42 and the Dow dipped 81.33 points or 0.2 percent to 39,431.51.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in another mixed performance during trading on Tuesday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index climbed by 0.5 percent while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index slipped by 0.2 percent.

The major European markets have also turned mixed on the day. While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index is up by 0.1 percent, the French CAC 40 Index is just below the unchanged line and the German DAX Index is down by 0.4 percent.

In commodities trading, crude oil futures are falling $0.37 to $78.75 a barrel after slumping $0.86 to $79.12 a barrel on Monday. Meanwhile, after tumbling $32 to $2,343 an ounce in the previous session, gold futures are rising $7.50 to $2,350.50 an ounce.

On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 156.59 yen compared to the 156.22 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Monday. Against the euro, the dollar is valued at $1.0800 compared to yesterday’s $1.0790.

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