U.S. Futures Extend Gains Ahead of Key Inflation Data Release

(Bloomberg) -- U.S. stock-index futures extended gains, hitting a session high in early London trading as investors await a key inflation report Wednesday.

March contracts on the S&P 500 rose 0.5 percent at 8:24 a.m. in London after fluctuating during Asian trading hours. Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.6 percent, while the Nasdaq 100 Index was up 0.6 percent.

“Since the last payrolls about two weeks ago, inflation is the obsession of traders,” Pierre Martin, a trader at Saxo Bank in Zurich, said by phone. “Given the selloff in stocks and with a lot of brokers pushing clients to buy the dip, people are trying to position themselves ahead of the CPI figures today.”

Read more on how Asian strategists are preparing for inflation data Wednesday

While U.S. equities recoup some of the $2 trillion wiped out in last week’s rout, American consumer-price data could shed some light on where markets are heading, as investors weigh the outlook for inflation and what it means for the trajectory of U.S. monetary policy.

“The sentiment is that a lot has been priced in already, but I’m a bit more cautious and wouldn’t be surprised to see volatility aftershocks in the coming days,” Martin said.

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