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U.S. futures lower as oil prices weigh; Dow Jones down 0.42%

Stock MarketsFeb 27, 2012 06:52AM ET
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This article has already been saved in your Saved Items - U.S. stock futures were lower on Monday, on concerns that rising oil prices are threatening the fragile global economic recovery while investors continued to eye developments in the euro zone.

Ahead of the open, the Dow Jones Industrial Average futures pointed to a fall of 0.42%, S&P 500 futures signaled a 0.46% decline, while the Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a .0.40% drop.

The Group of 20 nations failed over the weekend to reach an agreement on enlarging the size of the International Monetary Fund’s lending capacity and told European leaders that any outside assistance will be conditional upon a stronger euro zone debt firewall.

But sentiment remained mildly supported as markets eyed the European Central Bank's second liquidity boosting operation, set to take place on Wednesday, after the bank carried out a similar successful operation in December.

Energy stocks were expected to be active as Blackstone Group LP was due to announce a USD2 billion equity investment in Cheniere Energy Partners later Monday as a bet on U.S. natural-gas exports, according to the Wall Street Journal said.

Shares in BP jumped 2.55% in pre-market trade as the trial to decide who should pay for the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill was delayed by a week, to allow BP to try to cut a deal with tens of thousands of businesses and individuals affected by the disaster.

The tech sector was also slated to be in focus as France Telecom's mobile unit Orange has decided to launch a smartphone in France and the U.K. this summer designed by Intel and using its newest processor.

Meanwhile, Tianjin, China's sixth-largest city, held preliminary talks with Comcast Corp's NBC Universal about a joint venture to build a theme park in the port city, according to the head of a Chinese trade delegation visiting Los Angeles.

Elsewhere, Berkshire Hathaway was expected to move after Warren Buffett told investors on Saturday the company’s board has identified his successor, easing some shareholder concern about the future of the company once the famed 81-year-old investor steps down as chief executive.

Other stocks in focus included Home improvement chain Lowe's, due to report quarterly results later in the day.

Across the Atlantic, European stock markets were sharply lower. The EURO STOXX 50 tumbled 1.02%, France’s CAC 40 dropped 1.14%, Germany's DAX plummeted 1.21%, while Britain's FTSE 100 declined 0.90%.

During the Asian trading session, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index dropped 1.15%, while Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index eased down 0.15%.

Later in the day, the U.S. was to publish industry data on pending home sales.

U.S. futures lower as oil prices weigh; Dow Jones down 0.42%

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