Futures higher as oil prices offer some respite

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[February 12, 2016]  By Aastha Agnihotri

(Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were higher on Friday in tandem with higher oil prices and after a punishing, widespread rout this week due to concerns about the health of the global economy.

* Oil prices, which have dictated the market's direction this year, were up nearly 5 percent after the United Arab Emirates' energy minister said OPEC was willing to talk about cutting production.

* Global stocks also calmed after a week of heavy selling that put the yen on track for its strongest week against the dollar since late 2008. The yen has been a traditional safe haven for investors in times of turmoil.

* Other safe havens such as gold and treasuries have also been snapped up by investors spooked by slowing global growth and the relentless pressure of commodity prices.

* Financial stocks, led by banks, dragged Wall Street lower on Thursday, on mounting concerns that interest rates would be pressured by the slowing global economy by defaults from the battered energy sector.

* U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen told Congress this week that she was studying ways to "be prepared" should the rout in world stock markets, the stress in the financial sector, and slowing economic growth translating into a recession or another financial crisis.

* Shares of JPMorgan <JPM.N> were up 3.3 percent at $54.83 premarket on Friday after the bank's chief executive, Jamie Dimon, bought more than $25 million of the company's stock, taking his ownership to 7.79 percent.

* Activision Blizzard <ATVI.O> sank 12.2 percent to $26.81 after the videogame maker reported lower-than-expected quarterly revenue and profit.

* Data due on Friday includes January's retail sales, which is expected to have risen 0.1 percent. The report is due at 8:30 a.m. ET.

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* At 9:55 a.m., the University of Michigan will issue its preliminary survey on consumer sentiment for February. The index is likely to remain unchanged at 92 in February from January.

* New York Fed President William Dudley is scheduled to speak at a conference on household debt and credit report in New York at 10 a.m.

Futures snapshot at 7:12 a.m. ET:

* Dow e-minis <1YMc1> were up 133 points, or 0.85 percent, with 49,098 contracts changing hands.

* S&P 500 e-minis <ESc1> were up 18 points, or 0.99 percent, with 320,039 contracts traded.

* Nasdaq 100 e-minis <NQc1> were up 38.25 points, or 0.97 percent, on volume of 41,298 contracts.

(Reporting by Aastha Agnihotri in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza)

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