16 de diciembre de 2014 / 13:22 / en 3 años

US STOCKS-Futures tumble as oil, rouble slide further

* Futures down: Dow 91 pts, S&P 13 pts, Nasdaq 34 pts

By Rodrigo Campos

NEW YORK, Dec 16 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures fell on Tuesday as a further slide in crude oil prices and the Russian rouble sent traders fleeing from risky assets.

The rouble lost about 10 percent against the U.S. dollar, trading near 72 per dollar after hitting a low near 80 even after Moscow’s central bank hiked its main interest rate to 17 percent from 10.5 percent.

Brent crude lost more than 3 percent to $58.96 per barrel after hitting a low of $58.50 and U.S. crude was down almost 3 percent at $54.26 after hitting $53.80.

Adding to global concerns, data showed factory activity shrinking in China and euro zone business growth remaining weak.

“The market is reflecting a global macro concern more than anything,” said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities in New York.

“The trigger point is commodities, in this case oil, in a free fall, forcing people to completely avoid stocks; until we get some stabilization in energy prices I think we’re going to continue to see that trade.”

S&P 500 e-mini futures were down 13 points and fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the contract, indicated a lower open. Dow Jones industrial average e-mini futures fell 91 points and Nasdaq 100 e-mini futures lost 34 points.

Brent prices have fallen nearly 50 percent from a high hit in June. The 20-day correlation between the S&P 500 and Brent prices shifter sharply in the past days, going from -0.86 late in November to 0.67 on Monday.

Plunging oil prices could heighten geopolitical tensions, trigger defaults by U.S. shale oil and gas firms and destabilize euro zone inflation expectations, the Bank of England warned on Tuesday.

The heightened global growth concerns sharpen the focus on the Federal Reserve’s two-day meeting, which begins on Tuesday with a statement and press conference expected on Wednesday. Fed officials will decide this week whether to make a critical change to their policy statement that could bring closer in time the decision to rise rates next year.

U.S. data due later in the day include housing starts for November and Markit’s gauge of growth in the manufacturing sector. (Reporting by Rodrigo Campos; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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