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* Futures up: Dow 36 pts, S&P 3.5 pts, Nasdaq 3.25 pts
By Tanya Agrawal
June 17 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures inched up on Wednesday but investors remained cautious ahead of a Federal Reserve statement that could provide hints on the timing of a rate hike.
* Investors will scour the statement after a U.S. Federal Reserve meeting for any signs of when the Fed is likely to begin raising interest rates and the pace of any subsequent hikes.
* The Fed statement is due at 2:00 p.m. ET (1800 GMT), followed by Chair Janet Yellen’s news conference half an hour later, with analysts expecting her to focus on signs the economy is recovering after a bumpy start to the year.
* U.S. stocks closed higher on Tuesday following back-to-back daily declines, with merger activity offsetting market concerns as Greece struggles to avoid a default on its debt.
* Relations between Greece and its creditors have become increasingly acrimonious in recent days, leaving little hope that a meeting of EU finance ministers on Thursday will make any progress.
* Athens needs fresh funds to avoid defaulting on a 1.6 billion euro ($1.8 billion) debt repayment to the International Monetary Fund on June 30, which could drive it towards the euro zone exit.
* Synergy Pharmaceuticals shares soared 45.5 percent to $6.81 in premarket trading after the company’s late-stage study of constipation treatment meet the main goal.
* Qihoo 360 Technology jumped 12.5 percent to $74.31 after the mobile antivirus software maker said a Chinese consortium had offered to buy the company for $77 per American depositary share.
Futures snapshot at 7:18 a.m. ET:
* S&P 500 e-minis were up 3.5 points, or 0.17 percent, with 91,356 contracts traded.
* Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 3.25 points, or 0.07 percent, on volume of 4,724 contracts.
* Dow e-minis were up 36 points, or 0.2 percent, with 2,696 contracts changing hands. (Reporting by Tanya Agrawal; Editing by Don Sebastian)