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US shares poised to start lower as all eyes on oil meet

On Wednesday, the bench mark Dow Jones closed 2.47 higher at 17,789, the Nasdaq index finished over four points ahead, while the S&P500 gained 2.37 at 2,099.

Nodding donkeys against a setting sun
The global oil market is in focus today as OPEC meets

US shares are poised to open lower on Thursday as OPEC meets in Vienna and  ahead of key US jobs numbers tomorrow.

Investors are currently wary of putting cash into equities though US stocks did finish higher yesterday.

The bench mark Dow Jones closed 2.47 higher at 17,789, the Nasdaq index finished over four points ahead, while the S&P500 gained 2.37 at 2,099.

The S&P Midcap 400 ended up 0.37% at 1,498 while the S&P Smallcap 600 closed up 0.7% at 710 - its best level since December.

In futures today, the S&P500 is down two; the Dow Jones is down 15 points, while the tech heavy Nasdaq shed over three points.

The gains were largely thanks to oil prices. The US benchmark West Texas Intermediate which had earlier been negative, ended up 0.2% at $49.19, while today US crude oil is around flat after earlier being higher as traders watch and wait and see the outcome of the OPEC meet, where production levels are being discussed.

The global market is set to become more balanced in the second half, as production from non-OPEC countries is falling fast, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has so far said, but there are divisions within the cartel about whether to limit output or not.

Official stats have shown that OPEC is producing oil at near-record levels of 32.7 million barrels a day currently.

Also in focus today is the ECB meeting., which will result in an announcement about monetary policy, including on interest rates.

On the corporate front in the US, it's a quiet day for earnings.

Broadcom (NASDAQ: BRCM)and clothing maker Zumiez (NASDAQ: ZUMZ) will report quarterlies after the close.

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