US STOCKS-Futures higher as Ukraine tensions ease
* Geopolitical issues may be market's biggest driver
* MannKind signs agreement with Sanofi, shares jump
* Kinder Morgan up on $70 bln deal to consolidate assets
* Futures up: Dow 57 pts, S&P 8 pts, Nasdaq 20.5 pts
By Ryan Vlastelica
NEW YORK, Aug 11 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were higher on Monday, indicating that Friday's sharp rally could continue as it appeared less likely that the tense situation between Russia and Ukraine would escalate.
* The S&P 500 and Dow on Friday posted their best day since March on news that Russia was ending military drills near the Ukrainian border, a move that was seen as indicating Russia would not send troops into Ukraine anytime soon. European shares rose more than 1 percent on Monday.
* With earnings season nearly over, market action is likely to see an outsized influence from geopolitical issues, especially from the Middle East due to the region's impact on the commodities markets.
* The United States recently launched air strikes in Iraq targeting Islamic State fighters marching on the country's Kurdish capital. The U.S. is also pushing for a new Iraq government, which Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has been battling to prevent, deploying forces across Baghdad as some parliamentary allies sought a replacement. Continuación...