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US stock futures rise after OPEC extends production cuts

U.S. stock index futures pointed to a higher open on Thursday as oil-producing nations agree to extend production cuts for nine months.

This comes as the group seeks to curb a global supply overhang which has depressed prices and revenues over the past three years.

The proposed cuts are expected to be shared again by non-OPEC producers later on Thursday. Led by Russia, non-OPEC producers had initially curbed output in conjunction with OPEC in a landmark deal for the first half of the year from January.

Nevertheless, U.S. crude prices fell more than 1.3 percent to $50.68 a barrel.

Dow futures rose 70 points, while S&P and Nasdaq futures advanced 6.25 points and 23.25 points.

A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
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A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

Elsewhere on Thursday, Fed Governor Lael Brainard and St. Louis Fed President James Bullard are due to speak at separate engagements. This comes after the U.S. central bank released minutes from its May meeting Wednesday, which showed that Fed officials seemed to be in sync with how they hope to reduce their $4.5 trillion balance sheet.

Fed watchers have showed concern that if the process of unwinding the balance sheet isn't done correctly, this could not only be disruptive but also drive rates up unexpectedly. Analysts are currently pricing in the next rate hike to take place at the Fed's next meeting in June.

Sticking with the U.S., investors will also be keeping a watchful eye on Donald Trump's first trip abroad as President, as the U.S. leader continues his visit through Europe on Thursday, meeting EU and NATO leaders in Brussels. During this visit, Trump is expected to discuss topics such as defense and environmental issues.

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Elsewhere, jobless claims hit 234,000 last week, rising slightly from the previous week, but remained near their lowest levels in more than 40 years.

The Kansas City Fed Manufacturing Survey is also due out at 11:00 a.m. ET.

Overseas, bourses in Europe were trading slightly lower, while markets in the Asia-Pacific region finished their trading session in positive territory. On Wednesday, U.S. equities finished higher, following the release of the Fed minutes.

CNBC's Jeff Cox and Sam Meredith contributed to this report.

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