Investing.com – U.S. futures pointed to a higher opening bell on Wednesday as investors look ahead to the Federal Reserve meeting minutes.
The Federal Open Market Committee is set to release its December meeting minutes at 2:00 PM ET (19:00 GMT). At its last meeting the central bank raised interest rates by a quarter point and increased its growth outlook for the economy. Investors will be paying close attention to any indication as to how the U.S. economy is performing and any clues as to when the next rate hike will be.
Semiconductor Advanced Micro Devices (NASDAQ:AMD) was among the top gainers in pre-market trading, rising 3.19%. Shipping firm On Track Innovations Ltd (NASDAQ:OTIV) increased 4.05% while General Electric (NYSE:GE) inched forward 0.33% and steel production firm ArcelorMittal SA ADR (NYSE:MT) was up 0.92%.
In economic news, the manufacturing ISM reports on business and construction spending are expected at 10:00 AM ET (15:00 GMT).
Meanwhile markets seem unmoved by geopolitical tensions building between North Korea and America. U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted on Tuesday evening he had a "nuclear button" that was "much bigger and more powerful" than that of North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un. The tweet was in response to a New Year’s address by Jong-un, who said he would use the nuclear button if his country was threatened.
In Europe stocks rallied. Germany’s DAX rose 56 points or 0.44% while in France the CAC 40 increased 15 points or 0.30% and in London, the FTSE 100 inched forward two points or 0.03%. Meanwhile the pan-European Euro Stoxx 50 was up eight points or 0.24% while Spain’s IBEX 35 gained 49 points or 0.49%.
In commodities, gold futures were flat at $1,316.10 a troy ounce while crude oil futures rose 0.45% to $60.64 a barrel. The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, rose 0.27% to 91.81.
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