US STOCKS-Futures little changed ahead of June payrolls report

* Futures: Dow off 5 pts, S&P up 0.5 pts, Nasdaq up 7 pts

By Tanya Agrawal

July 7 (Reuters) – U.S. stock index futures were little
changed on Friday, with the June non-farm payrolls data firmly
on investors’ minds amid rising expectations of tighter monetary
policy.

* Investors are focused on wage growth and whether spending
by consumers will be strong enough to back the Federal Reserve’s
plan to raise interest rates once more this year.

* Nonfarm payrolls increased by 179,000 jobs last month
after gaining 138,000 in May, according to a Reuters survey of
economists. The Labor Department’s closely watched report is due
at 8:30 a.m. ET (1230 GMT).

* Policymakers have taken opposing views on inflation after
it retreated below the central bank’s 2 percent target in May,
creating uncertainty over the future path of rate hikes.

* Adding to the jitters are bets that the world’s major
central banks are moving closer to unwinding their ultra-loose
monetary policies.

* Oil fell 3 percent after data showed U.S. production rose
last week just as OPEC exports hit a 2017 high. Oil prices are
down more than 16 percent this year, adding to low inflation
concerns.

* Oil majors Exxon and Chevron were down
about 0.3 percent in premarket trading.

* U.S. stocks ended sharply lower on Thursday due to a steep
fall in technology stocks and a disappointing private sector
hiring report. Rising tensions in the Korean peninsula also
added to the pressure.

* Investors will be watching for developments from the G20
summit, which is underway in Germany, with focus on President
Donald Trump’s first meeting with Russian President Vladimir
Putin.

* Tesla rose 1.8 percent after the luxury electric
carmaker won an Australian contract to install the world’s
biggest grid-scale battery. Tesla’s shares have fallen about 15
percent this week following the company’s lower-than-expected
deliveries.

Futures snapshot at 6:58 a.m. ET:

* Dow e-minis were down 5 points, or 0.02 percent,
with 16,205 contracts changing hands.

* S&P 500 e-minis were up 0.5 points, or 0.02
percent, with 95,748 contracts traded.

* Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 7 points, or 0.13
percent, on volume of 17,598 contracts.
(Reporting by Tanya Agrawal in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil
D’Silva)

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