US equities circle the wagons ahead of busy week

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Maybe it’s the clock change, maybe it’s the busy week of data and news ahead, but US equities markets are in no rush to choose a direction on Monday morning.

Futures tipped the Dow Jones, S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 to all open flat, at 20,849, 2,367.5 and 5,383 respectively.

The uninspired start comes at the outset of a jam-packed week that is expected to bring market-moving news including a fresh decision on interest rates from the Federal Reserve, Dutch elections and the unveiling of President Donald Trump’s fiscal 2018 budget.

Oil continues to take a beating, and while it hasn’t managed to stage much of a comeback, it is starting to come back off of the depths it plumbed earlier in the trading day. At pixel time, the US benchmark West Texas Intermediate was back above the $48-a-barrel mark it crossed in early Asian trading, while the global Brent crude benchmark was hovering at $51.25.

The dollar index – which measures the greenback against a basket of its peers – was also relatively flat, sitting at 101.29, early level with its previous close of 101.33.

Overseas, global markets were closing out the day in the black, with the Nikkei and Hang Seng closing up 0.15 and 1.11 per cent, respectively, while the Dax and FTSE 100 were both gaining in the last hours of the trading day.

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