Stock Futures Point To Lower Open On Wall Street; U.S. CPI In Focus

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U.S. stocks set to open lower

Premarket movers on Wednesday were pointing to a lower open for stocks on Wall Street, as investors await U.S. Consumer Price Index (CPI) numbers at 8:30 a.m. ET.

The figures are expected to show the headline CPI rose 1.9% on a year-over-year basis in May from a 2% pace in April. Core inflation is expected to remain steady at 2.1%.

Federal Reserve policymakers have taken a more dovish tone in recent weeks, saying they are prepared to “act as appropriate” to sustain expansion if trade war escalates.

Market participants believe that lower U.S. benchmark interest rates could be coming very soon, particularly if May’s CPI figures show that pricing power decelerated modestly.

As of 5:26 a.m. ET, futures on the blue-chip Dow were down 66.5 points, or 0.26% to 25,998.5. Futures on the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 slid 34.13 points, or 0.45% to 7,484.12 while those on the broader S&P 500 dropped 7.88 points, or 0.27% to 2,879.12.

Hong Kong stocks under pressure amid protests

Stocks tumbled in Hong Kong on Wednesday as violent protests broke out in the city, forcing businesses to shut down. Tens of thousands of people swarmed the streets to protest against the territory’s controversial extradition bill that would allow extraditions to China.

Police used tear gas, pepper spray, batons, and rubber bullets to disperse the protesters calling for lawmakers to scrap the bill, which has the backing of mainland Chinese government.

The Hang Seng Index was the worst performer in Asia after falling 1.73%, or 480.88 points, to 27,308.46.

Oil turns lower as weaker demand outlook weighs

Oil prices turned lower on Wednesday amid concerns of a global recession and fears of slowing consumption. On Tuesday, the U.S. Energy Information Administration slashed its outlook for 2019 U.S. crude production and global oil demand growth.

As of 5:07 a.m. ET, Brent crude futures, the global oil marker, lost $1.69, or 2.71%, to $60.60 per barrel. West Texas Intermediate crude futures, the U.S. benchmark for oil prices, fell $1.56, or 2.93%, to $51.71 per barrel.

CrowdStrike prices IPO above range

Cloud-based cybersecurity provider CrowdStrike Inc raised $612 million on Tuesday after pricing its shares at $34 apiece, above its $28-$30 price range.

Shares of the California-based company will start trading today under the ticker symbol “CRWD” on the Nasdaq stock exchange.