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Futures rise ahead of inflation reading, Fed meet in focus

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(Reuters) – U.S. stock index futures on Tuesday rose ahead of inflation data that is expected to show prices cooled in May, supporting bets that the Federal Reserve could skip raising interest rates this month.

The U.S. labor Department’s consumer price index (CPI) reading, due at 8:30 a.m. ET, is expected to show inflation rose 0.2% last month compared with a 0.4% rise in April, with core inflation likely to have remain unchanged at 0.4%.

The Fed will commence its two-day policy meeting later in the day, with an interest rate decision due on Wednesday, followed by Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s news conference.

Traders see a 76% chance that the central bank will hold interest rates at the 5%-5.25% range, while pricing in a 56% chance of a 25-basis-point hike in July, according to the CME Fedwatch tool.

The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq logged their highest closing levels since April 2022 on Monday, lifted by market heavyweights including Amazon.com, Apple and Tesla.

The benchmark S&P 500 has risen 21% from its October 2022 lows, which some investors consider points to a bull market.

At 5:26 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 25 points, or 0.07%, S&P 500 e-minis were up 11.75 points, or 0.27%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 79 points, or 0.53%.

Oracle Corp jumped 4.1% premarket, as the software firm topped quarterly revenue estimates and forecast an upbeat current quarter, driven by growing demand for its cloud offerings from companies deploying AI.

Apple slipped 0.8% after UBS downgraded the iPhone maker to “neutral” from “buy”.

Intel Corp gained 1.5% after the chipmaker entered in talks with SoftBank Group Corp’s Arm to be an anchor investor in its initial public offering (IPO).

Advanced Micro Devices rose 2.3% ahead of the chipmaker revealing new details about its “AI Superchip” later in the day.

Aiding sentiment, China’s central bank lowered a short-term lending rate for the first time in 10 months, to help restore market confidence in the world’s second-largest economy.

U.S.-listed shares of Chinese companies including JD.com , Alibaba Group, Baidu Inc and Netease Inc rose between 1.9% and 4.7%.

(Reporting by Shristi Achar A in Bengaluru; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi)

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