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U.S. stock futures subdued as Fed policy meeting looms

Credit: REUTERS/BRENDAN MCDERMID

U.S. stock index futures treaded water on Monday, after the main indexes ended the previous week slightly higher, as focus shifted to a pivotal Federal Reserve meeting that could lay the groundwork for an interest rate cut later this year.

By Shreyashi Sanyal

June 17 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures treaded water on Monday, after the main indexes ended the previous week slightly higher, as focus shifted to a pivotal Federal Reserve meeting that could lay the groundwork for an interest rate cut later this year.

The S&P 500 index .SPX has risen nearly 5% so far in June on hopes of a rate cut in the face of weaker economic data and heightening global trade tensions, but that rally ran out of steam in the past week as traders trimmed their expectations.

The Fed is expected to leave borrowing costs unchanged at a policy meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday, but analysts expect data to show that a growing number of policymakers are open to cutting rates in the coming months.

"The Fed has a very delicate balancing act to contend with as they have a choice of endorsing current dovish market pricing and keeping things calm, or to suggest it's gone too far too quickly and give risk assets a sharp jolt," wrote Jim Reid, a strategist at Deutsche Bank.

The Fed's policy-setting committee is due to release its statement at 2 p.m. EDT (1800 GMT) on Wednesday.

At 7:14 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis 1YMc1 were up 5 points, or 0.02%. S&P 500 e-minis ESc1 were up 1.25 points, or 0.04% and Nasdaq 100 e-minis NQc1 were up 8 points, or 0.11%.

Investors also braced for the Group of 20 summit at the end of the month, which may yield progress on resolving the prolonged trade war between the United States and China.

Among stocks, Pfizer Inc PFE.N edged down 0.1% in premarket trading after the drugmaker said it would buy Array Biopharma Inc ARRY.O for $10.64 billion. Shares of Array jumped 59%.

(Reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)

((Shreyashi.Sanyal@thomsonreuters.com; +1 646 223 8780 ; Reuters Messaging: Shreyashi.Sanyal.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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