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Stock futures rise as China seeks to soothe global markets

(Reuters) – U.S. stock index futures were higher on Thursday after China’s central bank said there was no basis for further depreciation of the yuan and as oil prices rose.

* As the yuan slid for a third straight day, the People’s Bank of China pointed to strong economic fundamentals it said provided “strong support” to the exchange rate.

* Wall Street slumped over 1 percent on Wednesday, before sharply reversing course to close flat after energy shares and Apple bounced back.

* Oil prices rose on Thursday as lower U.S. crude stocks and optimistic global demand projections overrode concerns about a glut of supply. [O/R]

* The dollar index rebounded from a one-month low hit on Wednesday, when investors pared back bets that the U.S. Federal Reserve’s interest rate hike would come as early as September.

* To gauge the timing of a rate hike, investors will be keeping a sharp eye on key economic data, especially on those related to labor and inflation.

* While inflation remains below what the Fed would like to see, the labor markets have continued to strengthen. Weekly jobless claims is expected to have steadied at 270,000, last week. The data is expected at 8:30 a.m. ET (1230 GMT).

* Also U.S. retail sales likely increased 0.5 percent in July – compared with a 0.3 percent drop in June – helped by a surge in demand for automobiles.

* Cisco’s shares rose 3.9 percent to $29 premarket after the network equipment maker’s profit beat expectations.

* Tesla rose 1.9 percent to $242.80 after the electric-car maker said it plans to raise about $500 million through a share sale, with CEO Elon Musk buying shares worth about $20 million.

* Kohl  fell 4.9 percent to $58.50 after the department store operator reported lower-than-expected same-store sales for the second quarter.

* Companies scheduled to report after the close of market on Thursday include King Digital Entertainment, Applied Materials and Nordstrom.

Futures snapshot at 7:06 a.m. ET:

* S&P 500 e-minis were up 5.75 points, or 0.28 percent, with 179,410 contracts traded.

* Nasdaq 100 e-minis  were up 14.5 points, or 0.32 percent, on volume of 28,377 contracts.

* Dow e-minis were up 54 points, or 0.31 percent, with 26,873 contracts changing hands.

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