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Futures inch lower after Powell hints at more rate hikes


(Reuters) – U.S. stock index futures edged lower on Thursday, a day after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell stuck to his hawkish stance on interest rate hikes, while investors looked ahead to his second day of testimony before a Senate committee.

In his remarks to lawmakers in Washington on Wednesday, Powell said the outlook for further rate increases are “a pretty good guess” of where the central bank is heading if the economy continues in its current direction.

Financial markets, however, are still pricing in a 25-basis-point rate increase in July and no further hikes after that, according to CME FedWatch tool.

In the previous session, shares of megacap companies came under pressure and led the declines in U.S. stocks for the third straight day after Powell reinforced the Fed’s inflation objective.

Ahead of his second day of testimony before the U.S. Senate Banking Committee at 10 a.m. ET (1400 GMT), yields on the 2-year and 10-year Treasury notes ticked higher. [US/]

Investors will also keep an eye on initial jobless claims for week ended June 17 and housing sales data due later in the day, while also awaiting comments from three Fed policymakers due to speak after the markets open.

At 5:37 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were down 58 points, or 0.17%, S&P 500 e-minis were down 8.75 points, or 0.2%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 35 points, or 0.23%.

With the exception of Micrsoft, all major technology and growth companies declined between 0.2% and 2% in premarket trading.

Spirit AeroSystems fell 8.9% and planemaker Boeing slipped 1.3% in premarket trading as the parts supplier said it will suspend production at its plant in Wichita, Kansas, after workers rejected a proposed four-year deal and announced a strike from June 24.

(Reporting by Shubham Batra in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)

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