Wall Street looked set to open higher on Monday, as markets await news from this week's U.S. Federal Reserve's meeting.
The Fed is expected to signal in its policy statement on Wednesday that an interest rate hike is close by dropping its regular phrase that states that the central bank can be "patient" before beginning to normalize monetary policy.
"The recent strength of the U.S. labor market is increasing pressure on the Fed to begin raising rates gradually from around the middle of this year, most likely in either June or September, when the Fed is reasonably comfortable as well that inflation will return back to 2 percent in the medium-term," said Lee Hardman of Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi in a research note on Monday.
"Fed Chair Yellen has clearly highlighted that removing "patient" will not necessarily signal that a rate hike will come as soon as June, although the risk of a rate hike in the near-term will increase," he added.
Monday will be a quiet day for earnings and data. The Empire State Index posted 6.90 for March, below February's 7.78.
Industrial production rose 0.1 percent in February, below expectations, with capacity utilization slightly lower at 78.9 percent.
Crude oil dipped below $44 a barrel to its lowest level in six years, while Brent fell below $54 a barrel.