April 11, 2019 / 11:57 AM / in 2 months

US STOCKS-Futures indicate slightly higher open for Wall St

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* Futures: Dow 0.18%, S&P 0.16%, Nasdaq 0.12%

By Sruthi Shankar

April 11 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures pointed to a slightly higher open for Wall Street on Thursday, as investors assessed warnings from major central banks about a global slowdown.

Minutes from the Federal Reserve’s March meeting on Wednesday showed that it was likely to leave interest rates unchanged this year given risks to the U.S. economy from the slowdown and uncertainty over trade policies and financial conditions.

The European Central Bank also maintained its loose policy stance, raising the prospect of more support being pumped into the struggling euro zone economy.

Concerns about trade and financial conditions have pushed central banks to take a dovish stance, broadly supporting appetite for risk assets.

Investors are hoping that a trade deal with China and a better-than-feared quarterly earnings season will help Wall Street extend its strong start to the year.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Wednesday that trade talks continued to make progress and both sides have largely agreed on a mechanism to police any trade agreement they reach, including establishing new “enforcement offices”.

At 7:12 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 47 points, or 0.18%. S&P 500 e-minis were up 4.5 points, or 0.16% and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 9 points, or 0.12%.

Profit forecasts for the first quarter have dropped steadily in the last six months, with S&P 500 earnings now seen falling 2.5%, which would mark the first year-on-year contraction since 2016, according to Refinitiv data.

Bed Bath & Beyond Inc shares tumbled 9.7% after the home furnishing retailer forecast weak current-quarter profit.

Tesla Inc shares fell 3.5% after the Nikkei reported the electric carmaker and Panasonic Corp were rethinking plans to expand the capacity of Gigafactory 1. Panasonic said it was studying further investments.

United States Steel Corp was down 3.2% after Bank of America Merrill downgraded the stock to “underperform”. (Reporting by Sruthi Shankar and Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva)

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