* Futures down: Dow 45 pts, S&P 5 pts, Nasdaq 13 pts
By Tanya Agrawal
Aug 18 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures followed world bourses lower on Tuesday after Chinese shares slumped 6 percent and disappointing results from Wal-Mart.
* Wal-Mart shares fell 2.5 percent to $70.09 in premarket trading after the Dow component reported weaker-than-expected quarterly earnings and lowered its full-year forecast.
* Chinese stocks plunged again as the yuan weakened against the dollar, reigniting fears that Beijing may be intent on a deeper devaluation of the currency despite the central bank’s comment that it sees no reason for a further slide.
* U.S. oil prices and industrial metals, including copper, also traded near six-year lows, adding to the bearish market sentiment amid worries over China’s growth outlook.
* Wall Street closed higher on Monday after strong economic data boosted the housing sector and as investors bought recently battered shares in biotech and media.
* Investors will keep a sharp eye on additional housing data, due at 8:30 a.m. ET (1230 GMT), that is expected to show that U.S. housing starts likely increased in July, fueled by strong demand for rental apartments.
* Economic data points are being carefully evaluated by investors for signs regarding the health of the economy in face of an impending rate hike by the U.S. Federal Reserve for the first time in nearly a decade.
* The U.S. central bank has said it will hike long-term interest rates only when it sees a sustained recovery in the economy and many investors are factoring in a September liftoff as the labor market continues to gain in strength.
* However, global macro concerns, especially worries regarding China’s slowing growth, and as inflation remains below the 2 percent growth that the Fed would like to see, could force them to wait until December to raise rates.
* With earning season winding down, all eyes are on the Wednesday minutes from the Fed’s latest meeting, for clues regarding the timing of a hike.
* In corporate news, Dow component Home Depot inched up nearly 1 percent to $120.85 after the world’s No.1 home improvement retailer reported a better-than-expected rise in quarterly same-store sales.
* Esperion Therapeutics jumped 12.5 percent to $85 after the drug developer said its cholesterol-lowering drug’s development was on track.
Futures snapshot at 7:07 a.m. ET:
* S&P 500 e-minis were down 5 points, or 0.24 percent, with 122,128 contracts traded.
* Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 13.25 points, or 0.29 percent, on volume of 16,279 contracts.
* Dow e-minis were down 45 points, or 0.26 percent, with 17,217 contracts changing hands. (Reporting by Tanya Agrawal in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D‘Souza)