Wall Street to mull events in Iraq, Ukraine
New York (June 16) U.S. stock index futures traded lower on Monday, with risk aversion growing due to geopolitical concerns in Iraq, and to a lesser extent, Ukraine.
Over the weekend it was reported that Sunni insurgents in Iraq had made further progress in advancing on Baghdad. There are concerns the conflict may widen beyond Iraq, with reports that Iran has sent 2000 advance troops to Iraq, and that the White House is preparing to open talks with Iran about how to provide support to the Iraqi government.
The talks are expected to begin this week and mark a rapid move toward rapprochement between Washington and Tehran.
Brent crude oil traded 0.25 percent higher on Monday, with European shares trading lower. Assets perceived as "safe havens" like U.S. Treasury bonds, the U.S. dollar and German bunds were higher.
Ukraine is also in focus, after talks broke down between Ukraine and Russia over gas prices. Ukraine has missed its Monday morning deadline to settle its gas bill with Russia.
U.S. data due on Monday include the Empire State manufacturing survey, industrial production and the NAHB housing market index.
Later in the week, the Federal Reserve will publish its interest rate decision. It is also seen cutting its growth forecast for 2014, given the negative growth recorded in the first quarter. Plus, the Treasury will auction two-year, five-year and seven-year bonds.