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Stock index futures fall as oil prices slide

U.S. stock index futures pointed to a lower open on Tuesday morning as traders eyed a continued decline in oil prices and a probable March rate hike.

The Producer Price Index (PPI) rose 0.3 percent in February. Earlier on Tuesday, the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) said its small business optimism index fell 0.6 points to 105.3 last month.

U.S. crude oil prices gave up earlier gains to hit a fresh three-month low after a monthly OPEC report showed many members continued to pump above their quotas.

WTI traded 1.5 percent lower below $48 a barrel, while brent crude traded around $50.78 a barrel, down about 1.1 percent. The Energy Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLE) fell 0.7 percent in premarket trade.

Spencer Platt | Getty Images

The Federal Open Market Committee begins its two-day meeting on Tuesday as the market anticipated the Fed to raise interest rates for just the third time in 10 years.

Treasury yields held slightly lower, while the U.S. dollar index traded about 0.3 percent higher.

On the earnings front, Volkswagen, HD Supply Holdings and DSW are all scheduled to report before the bell. China Lodging Group and Fogo de Chao are both due to report after the market close.

In Europe, the pan-European Stoxx-600 index was around 0.23 percent lower on Tuesday morning. In Asia, the Shanghai Composite in China closed 0.05 percent higher, while the Nikkei in Japan closed 0.12 percent lower.

Correction: This story has been updated to reflect that the NFIB fell to 105.3.