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US stocks set for modest gains with pressure on oil, dollar

US stocks set for modest gains with pressure on oil, dollar

WASHINGTON: With the dollar hovering at a 15-month low and energy prices feeling the pinch from Harvey, US equity indices are set to push slightly higher at the start of trading on Monday. Futures tip the S&P 500 to rise 0.14 per cent to 2,446, and the Nasdaq 100 is also set for a gain of 0.14 per cent to 5,833. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is poised to pick up just 0.1 per cent to 21,831.

US stocks are coming off a week in which they reversed a recent string of weekly losses to gain over the past five days, with hopes rising yet again for the prospect of a serious push on tax reform out of Washington and political turmoil remaining relatively muted. The dollar index was still mired at 92.48, its lowest point since May 2016 against a basket of currencies, failing to regain momentum after Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen’s Jackson Hole speech yielded little new information about the trajectory of monetary policy. With Tropical Storm Harvey still wreaking havoc on Houston — a major US refining hub — oil prices were shooting in disparate directions, with a barrel of West Texas Intermediate, the US standard, down 0.8 per cent to $47.49 a barrel, while a barrel of Brent, the international benchmark, was up 0.5 per cent at $52.68. Gasoline futures, meanwhile, gained 5 per cent to $1.75 a gallon, pulling back slightly from an earlier surge to nearly 7 per cent.