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* Futures up: Dow 0.04 pct, S&P 0.06 pct, Nasdaq 0.03 pct (Changes comment, adds details, updates prices)
By Medha Singh
March 7 (Reuters) - Futures pared earlier losses on Thursday to trade slightly higher after the European Central Bank pushed out the timing of its first post-crisis rate hike to next year and offered banks new rounds of multi-year cash.
“The ECB has left rates unchanged and that’s a good sign and that means the recession is not terrible, because if economic conditions were degrading they would lower interest rates,” said Kim Forrest, senior equity research analyst, Fort Pitt Capital Group in Pittsburgh.
“It tells the U.S. companies that have exposure to Europe that, that area of the world is not degrading.”
President Mario Draghi’s news conference is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. ET (1330 GMT).
At 8:17 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 11 points, or 0.04 percent. S&P 500 e-minis were up 1.75 points, or 0.06 percent and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 2.25 points, or 0.03 percent.
With the fourth-quarter earnings season wrapping up, investors have been awaiting new triggers to drive the market higher, including a potential U.S.-China trade agreement and Friday’s jobs report.
In economic news, the Labor Department’s report is likely to show that initial claims for state unemployment benefits rose 225,000 at the end of last week from 210,000 a week earlier. The data is due at 8:30 a.m. ET.
That comes ahead of the more comprehensive non-farm payrolls report on Friday. (Reporting by Medha Singh and Amy Caren Daniel in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)