US STOCKS-Futures sharply lower on falling oil, copper prices

martes 22 de septiembre de 2015 07:15 GYT

* Futures down: Dow 233 pts, S&P 29 pts, Nasdaq 77 pts

By Tanya Agrawal

Sept 22 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were down about 1.5 percent on Tuesday as oil and copper prices fell on uncertain demand from China.

* Copper prices hit two-week lows, while oil was down about 2 percent. Chinese government efforts to stimulate growth by easing fiscal and monetary policy have yet to bear fruit.

* U.S. stocks ended higher on Monday, rebounding from losses late last week with help from Apple and financial shares, but a drop in biotech shares limited the advance.

* Investors are also looking for more clarity from the Federal Reserve after its decision last week to hold interest rates at near-zero levels.

* Fears of slowing growth in China sparked a sharp selloff in global stock markets in recent weeks and the Fed's comments about the global economy exacerbated those concerns.

* Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart said on Monday a rate hike later this year was still possible and that the Fed, in recent months, has added to the market instability and needs to refine its communication approach.

* The dollar hit an almost two-week high against a basket of currencies on Tuesday after the comments from Lockhart, a voting member of the Federal Open Market Committee. He is scheduled to speak later in the day.   Continuación...