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Wall Street counts on the Fed, Australia watched

U.S. stock index futures signaled a higher open on Monday, tracking gains seen in Europe as all eyes are on the Federal Reserve's latest monetary policy committee meeting on Wednesday.

The Fed is expected keep rates on hold but will likely ditch its assessment that the Fed Funds Rate is likely to be kept at its current level 'for a considerable time' at this week's meeting.

Read MoreOil has world markets over a barrel as Fed meet looms

A trader works on the floor of the NYSE as Fed Chair Janet Yellen speaks on television during a June news conference.
Jin Lee | Bloomberg | Getty Images
A trader works on the floor of the NYSE as Fed Chair Janet Yellen speaks on television during a June news conference.

But after the significant impact of the sharp drop in the oil price on the near-term inflation outlook, analysts' also suggest this might cause the committee to leave the overall statement with a dovish tone.

Ahead of this meeting come a number of top-tier releases, including November's industrial production data this afternoon and housing market indicators including the NAHB housing index.

Read MoreLive blog: Five hostages run free from Sydney cafe siege

European shares were trading higher after markets opened on Monday as attention focused on a developing hostage incident in Sydney, Australia.

Stocks traded in positive territory amid an ongoing hostage situation in Australia. An armed assailant is holding an unknown number of people inside a Sydney café. Speaking to reporters, Prime Minister Tony Abbott called the incident "very disturbing," Reuters reported.

Oil prices rebounded more than a dollar on Monday, after hitting five-and-a-half-year lows of $60.28 earlier in the session. U.S. crude for January delivery was down 95 cents at $56.86 a barrel, after hitting a low of $56.25, down 2.7 percent, the lowest since May 2009.

Read MoreAsia's focus this week: Japan, Fed meeting

Earnings expected on Monday include payment transactions group Verifone.