MarketWatch.com - Pre-Market Indications

Monday, June 28, 2010

Indications: Stock futures rise as G-20 pledges to cut deficits

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By Polya Lesova, MarketWatch

FRANKFURT (MarketWatch) -- U.S. stock futures posted modest gains on Monday, as leaders of the world's advanced economies pledged to halve their government deficits by 2013.

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 28 points to 10,132. S&P 500 futures added 4.30 points to 1,079 and Nasdaq 100 futures gained 7 points to 1,846.20.

Most major U.S. stock indexes finished slightly higher on Friday.

Meeting in Canada over the weekend, leaders of the Group of 20 major economies agreed on common goals to reduce deficits and debt. They vowed to stabilize or reduce the ratios of government debt to gross domestic product by 2016.

The G-20 also warned that synchronized fiscal adjustment across several major economies could adversely impact the recovery. As a result, fiscal consolidation plans should be differentiated to national circumstances and focused on growth-boosting measures. Read more on the G-20 summit.

Lars Christensen, chief analyst at Danske Bank, downplayed the importance of the G-20 commitments.

"I don't think the G-20 has changed a lot in terms of market sentiment," Christensen said. "The world picture is still one of caution. We saw a little bit of stabilization on Friday and that carries through today as there is a lack of much news."

He said that in the low-liquidity summer markets, the World Cup in South Africa appears to be dominating the news more than any other issues.

For markets, however, "The European sovereign debt crisis is still the story," Christensen said. "For now, Europe is the weak link in the global economy."

The U.S. economic calendar is fairly thin on Monday. Data on May personal income will be released at 8:30 a.m. Eastern.

Later in the day, Kevin Warsh, a member of the board of governors of the Federal Reserve, will speak on financial-market and economic developments in Atlanta.

In Europe, most equity markets posted broad-based gains, with the Stoxx Europe 600 index /quotes/comstock/22c!sxxp (ST:SXXP 249.94, +1.61, +0.65%) up 0.8% to 250 points.

Shares of U.K. energy giant BP Plc /quotes/comstock/13*!bp/quotes/nls/bp (BP 27.02, -1.72, -5.98%) /quotes/comstock/23s!a:bp. (UK:BP. 314.15, +9.55, +3.14%) rose 3.8% in London trading, reversing some of the steep losses posted in the previous session.

BP said Monday that the costs of cleaning up the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico have soared to $2.65 billion, an increase of $300 million from its estimate last Friday.

The firm is currently drilling a relief well in an effort to stop the leak after numerous other strategies failed. Read more on BP.

In the commodity markets, August oil futures dropped 50 cents to $78.36 a barrel in electronic trading on Globex. Gold futures edged up 60 cents to $1,256.70 an ounce.

The dollar was little changed against its major rivals, with the dollar index /quotes/comstock/11j!i:dxy0 (DXY 85.50, +0.18, +0.22%) up 0.1% to 85.366.

Polya Lesova is a reporter for MarketWatch, based in Frankfurt.


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