US STOCKS-U.S. Stocks set to open lower as oil prices fall

* Oil prices fall after BNP Paribas, Barclays cut price
forecasts

* Yellen to testify later in the week

* Futures : Dow down 16 pts, S&P 2 pts, Nasdaq 9.25 pts
(Adds details)

By Ankur Banerjee and Anya George Tharakan

July 11 (Reuters) – Wall Street looked set to open slightly
lower on Tuesday as oil prices fell while investors waited for
more hints on interest rate hikes from Federal Reserve
policymakers.

Crude prices are about 18 percent below their 2017 opening
levels despite a deal led by the Organization of the Petroleum
Exporting Countries to cut production from January.

Global oversupply has led BNP Paribas to cut its forecasts
for Brent by $9 to $51 a barrel for 2017 and by $15 to $48 for
2018. Barclays also cut its 2017 and 2018 Brent forecasts to $52
a barrel.

Fed Reserve Chair Janet Yellen’s semi-annual testimony to
Congress on monetary policy report is the key highlight of this
week. She will testify on Wednesday and Thursday.

“We’ve got Yellen’s testimony tomorrow, there may be a
little bit of nervousness ahead of that … the semi-annual
monetary policy testimony has often been a big deal for the
markets,” Scott Brown, chief economist at Raymond James in St.
Petersburg, Florida.

“I think there may be some fears that she’s going to come
out relatively hawkish.”

The Federal Reserve Board Governor Lael Brainard will speak
on monetary policy on Tuesday before a conference hosted by the
Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis President Neel
Kashkari will participate in a Town Hall question-and-answer
session moderated by Bremer Bank CEO Jeanne Crain in
Minneapolis, Minnesota.

The dollar hit a four-month high against the yen and bonds
and top emerging market currencies were back under pressure, on
bets for higher interest rates in a small but growing group of
major economies.
Investors will be looking at second-quarter earnings reports
on Friday from big U.S. banks including JPMorgan Chase,
Wells Fargo and Citigroup.

The three major indexes are trading close to record levels,
boosted by strong economic data and robust corporate performance
in the first quarter.

Dow e-minis were down 16 points, or 0.07 percent, at
8:24 a.m. EDT with 17,412 contracts changing hands. S&P 500
e-minis were down 2 points, or 0.08 percent, with 104,412
contracts traded. Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 9.25
points, or 0.16 percent, on volume of 22,556 contracts.

Shares of Arena Pharmaceuticals Inc soar about 37
percent after the drug developer said on Monday its experimental
drug for a rare but deadly lung disease met the main goal in a
mid-stage study.

Halcon Resources Corp’s shares were up 40 percent
after the oil producer said on Tuesday it would sell assets it
operates in the Williston Basin to Bruin E&P Partners for $1.4
billion in cash.
(Reporting by Ankur Banerjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun
Koyyur)

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