July 11, 2017 / 1:04 PM / 8 months ago

US STOCKS-U.S. Stocks set to open lower as oil prices fall

* Oil prices fall after BNP Paribas, Barclays cut price forecasts

* Yellen to testify later in the week

* Futures : Dow down 16 pts, S&P 2 pts, Nasdaq 9.25 pts (Adds details)

By Ankur Banerjee and Anya George Tharakan

July 11 (Reuters) - Wall Street looked set to open slightly lower on Tuesday as oil prices fell while investors waited for more hints on interest rate hikes from Federal Reserve policymakers.

Crude prices are about 18 percent below their 2017 opening levels despite a deal led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to cut production from January.

Global oversupply has led BNP Paribas to cut its forecasts for Brent by $9 to $51 a barrel for 2017 and by $15 to $48 for 2018. Barclays also cut its 2017 and 2018 Brent forecasts to $52 a barrel.

Fed Reserve Chair Janet Yellen’s semi-annual testimony to Congress on monetary policy report is the key highlight of this week. She will testify on Wednesday and Thursday.

“We’ve got Yellen’s testimony tomorrow, there may be a little bit of nervousness ahead of that ... the semi-annual monetary policy testimony has often been a big deal for the markets,” Scott Brown, chief economist at Raymond James in St. Petersburg, Florida.

“I think there may be some fears that she’s going to come out relatively hawkish.”

The Federal Reserve Board Governor Lael Brainard will speak on monetary policy on Tuesday before a conference hosted by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis President Neel Kashkari will participate in a Town Hall question-and-answer session moderated by Bremer Bank CEO Jeanne Crain in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

The dollar hit a four-month high against the yen and bonds and top emerging market currencies were back under pressure, on bets for higher interest rates in a small but growing group of major economies. Investors will be looking at second-quarter earnings reports on Friday from big U.S. banks including JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo and Citigroup.

The three major indexes are trading close to record levels, boosted by strong economic data and robust corporate performance in the first quarter.

Dow e-minis were down 16 points, or 0.07 percent, at 8:24 a.m. EDT with 17,412 contracts changing hands. S&P 500 e-minis were down 2 points, or 0.08 percent, with 104,412 contracts traded. Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 9.25 points, or 0.16 percent, on volume of 22,556 contracts.

Shares of Arena Pharmaceuticals Inc soar about 37 percent after the drug developer said on Monday its experimental drug for a rare but deadly lung disease met the main goal in a mid-stage study.

Halcon Resources Corp’s shares were up 40 percent after the oil producer said on Tuesday it would sell assets it operates in the Williston Basin to Bruin E&P Partners for $1.4 billion in cash. (Reporting by Ankur Banerjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)

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