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The Globe and Mail

Premarket: Futures rise on euro zone optimism

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, June 29, 2012.

Brendan McDermid/Reuters

U.S. stock index futures rose on Tuesday, erasing earlier declines, as Spanish bond yields eased on optimism Germany's top court will approve efforts to use rescue funds more flexibly in the euro zone.

The German Constitutional Court will consider whether Europe's new bailout plan and budget rules are compatible with national law in a process influencing not just how to tackle the euro zone debt crisis, but how much deeper European integration can go.

Spanish bond yields backed off the 7 per cent level, which has forced other countries to seek a bailout, on hopes the plan will be approved as a lengthy delay could once again rattle markets.

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The FTSEurofirst 300 index was up 1.1 per cent in a broad rally, putting the index on track for its first gain in the past five sessions.

Futures were initially lower after data in China showed import growth slowed sharply in June to 6.3 per cent, well short of the 12.7 per cent increase forecast. Europe is the largest trade partner for China and the data underscored the effect the euro zone debt crisis has had on growth.

Alcoa Inc. kicked off quarterly earnings season with a quarterly revenue and profit that beat Wall Street's expectations even though prices for its aluminum are at nearly two-year lows, and it forecast growing demand in the aerospace and auto sectors. Shares of the aluminum giant rose 0.7 per cent to $8.82 in premarket trade.

S&P 500 futures rose 5.2 points and were above fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures gained 61 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures added 11.25 points.i

Intel Corp will spend more than $4-billion on up to 15 per cent of ASML and bankroll the Dutch company's research into costly next-generation chipmaking technology, a major vote of confidence in the European firm that sent its U.S. shares soaring 6 per cent. U.S.-listed shares of ASML jumped 9.7 per cent to $53.18 in premarket.

Asian shares were lower on the China data.

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