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Futures rise on U.S.-China talks, inflation data in focus

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U.S. stock index futures rose on Tuesday after a meeting between President Joe Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping in which they pledged more frequent communications, while investors awaited producer prices data for cues on the path of future rate hikes.

U.S.-listed shares of Chinese firms Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, Baidu Inc, Pinduoduo Inc and JD.Com Inc climbed between 5.7% and 11.2%.

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Biden and Xi agreed to allow senior officials to renew communication on climate, debt relief and other issues, according to the White House.

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Focus will also be on the inflation report at 8:30 a.m. ET, which is expected to show producer prices rose 8.3% annually in October after advancing 8.5% in September, according to a Reuters poll of economists.

Excluding volatile food and energy costs, the producer prices index is expected to have increased 7.2% last month, in line with September’s gains.

A massive equity rally late last week was set off by a softer-than-expected consumer prices report that boosted investor hopes the U.S. Federal Reserve could dial back on its monetary tightening that has punished markets this year.

Traders expect the Fed to hike interest rates in December by a half point, and expect terminal rate in the range of 4.75%-5.0% in May 2023.

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Fed Vice Chair Lael Brainard said on Monday the U.S. central bank will likely soon slow its rate hikes, but emphasized that “we have additional work to do.”

“U.S. futures are trading higher after a disappointing session to kick off the week stateside, with markets giving back some of last week’s impressive gains,” said Victoria Scholar, head of investment at Interactive Investor.

“Focus is on the retail sector later today with quarterly results from Home Depot and Walmart, a key U.S. economic bellwether for the strength of the consumer.”

U.S.-listed shares of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (TSMC) jumped 10.4% after Warren Buffett disclosed his Berkshire Hathaway bought more than $4.1 billion of stock in the company.

At 06:09 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 156 points, or 0.46%, S&P 500 e-minis were up 30.5 points, or 0.77%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 143.5 points, or 1.22%. (Reporting by Shubham Batra, Sruthi Shankar, Amruta Khandekar and Bansari Mayur Kamdar; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)

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