Futures rise as commodities recover some ground
By Abhiram Nandakumar
(Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were slightly higher on Wednesday as commodity prices recovered some ground and positive economic data from Europe helped negate the impact of weak manufacturing data out of China.
* Brent crude oil prices inched towards $50 a barrel after data showed a decline in U.S. stockpiles last week. [O/R] Copper bounced from near four-week lows on Tuesday as short sellers took profits.
* Concerns about China's economic health remained after data showed factory activity in the world's second-biggest economy shrank to a 6-1/2 year low in September. China's factory activity has now shrunk for seven months in a row.
* European shares were higher after a surprise bounce in French business activity boosted investor sentiment.
* U.S. stocks closed lower on Tuesday amid a steep selloff in commodity prices and continuing investor uncertainty over when the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates.
* The Fed's decision last week to hold interest rates steady at near-zero levels has increased the uncertainty in the markets already reeling from concerns regarding slowing global growth.
* Data scheduled to be released on Wednesday includes Markit's U.S. manufacturing PMI data for September at 9:45 a.m. ET (1345 GMT). The data is expected to show U.S. factory data remained steady at 53.0 compared with August.
* Shares of Citrix Systems, were up 4.7 percent at $75.55 in premarket trading, after Reuters reported the cloud computing company is attempting to sell itself. Continued...