Futures try for gains; oil, Fed in focus

U.S. stock index futures indicated a flat to slightly higher open Monday despite a fresh multi-year low in oil as investors awaited this week's Federal Reserve meeting. The central bank is expected to make its first interest rate rise in more than nine years.

Stock index futures traded mostly higher after earlier giving up gains as brent and U.S. crude oil prices fell sharply on Monday, with crude briefly falling below $35 a barrel for the first time since February 2009.

European stocks traded mixed, while in Asia only the Shanghai composite ended higher, up about 2.5 percent.

Read More Oil and Fed are wildcards for the week ahead

"No prizes for guessing the main event of the coming week, as the conclusion of the Fed's FOMC meeting on Wednesday is widely expected to bring lift-off for the fed funds rate, with the likely 25 basis point hike to 0.25-0.50 percent set to be the first increase since 2006," Chris Scicluna, head of economic research at Daiwa Capital Markets, said in a research note on Monday.

"Expectations, however, are for a 'dovish tightening', with the post-meeting statement and updated economic forecasts set to signal the likelihood of a slow pace of further hikes going forward and relatively low interest rates for some time to come," he said.

No major economic data is expected from the U.S, with VeriFone among the few major U.S. companies posting earnings on Monday. Its quarterly numbers are due after the market close.

Treasury yields were mostly higher, while the U.S. dollar pared gains against major world currencies.

Earlier, the greenback gained against Asian currencies, particularly the yuan after the People's Bank of China said it had begun tracking the currency against a basket of other currencies.

More corporate news

Activist investor, Daniel Loeb, has called for Dow Chemical to remove its chief executive, Andrew Liveris, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Twitter has issued its first warning about a potential hack by government-backed groups, as cybersecurity remains a major concern for companies and states alike.

Plus, Australia's federal court has said that Reckitt Benckiser had misled consumers over the pain-killing qualities of Nurofen.

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— By CNBC's Katy Barnato. Follow CNBC International on Twitter and Facebook.