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Fed news, politics, data set the agenda on Wall Street; oil eyed

A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).
Brendan McDermid | Reuters
A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

U.S. stock index futures pointed to a higher open Wednesday, as investors geared up for more data, while keeping a close eye on what's happening in the political sphere globally.

Dow futures rose nearly 30 points, while S&P and Nasdaq futures advanced 4 points and 20 points, respectively.

On Wednesday, the U.S. central bank is set to release its latest installment of the Beige Book, slated to come out at 2 p.m. ET.

The report comes just weeks before the Fed is set to meet to discuss its monetary policy, with many analysts pricing in an interest rate hike at its June meeting.

Sticking with the Fed, Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan and San Francisco Fed President John Williams are both expected to speak at separate engagements on Wednesday.

Elsewhere in data, investors will be on the lookout for the latest Chicago PMI figures, due out at 9:45 a.m. ET, followed by pending home sales, expected at 10 a.m. ET.

On the earnings front, Michael Kors saw its stock decline more than 4 percent after posting quarterly results. Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Box are slated to report after the close.

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Meanwhile, bourses in Europe traded mostly higher on Wednesday despite political uncertainty. Sterling was under pressure on Wednesday after a YouGov poll suggested late Tuesday that U.K. Prime Minister and her Conservative party could fall short of winning a majority at the upcoming general election, due next Thursday.

Elsewhere in markets, Asia finished mixed as investors digested official PMI figures from China and eyed the moves in sterling. U.S. equities meanwhile closed in the red on Tuesday.

On the oil front, prices continue to show signs of being under pressure, as rising output from Libya and concerns surrounding U.S. production weighed on sentiment, with investors concerned about the glut in the market.

U.S. crude and Brent each traded at least 2 percent down at 8 a.m. ET, with WTI at $48.46 and Brent at $50.33.

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