August 31, 2017 / 11:38 AM / a year ago

US STOCKS-Futures higher on strong economic data

* Futures up: Dow 62 pts, S&P 6.5 pts, Nasdaq 13.75 pts

By Sruthi Shankar

Aug 31 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were higher on Thursday as strong global economic data brought back appetite for riskier assets, even as tensions in the Korea peninsula and worries about the economic impact of tropical storm Harvey lingered.

* Data from China showed factory growth accelerated unexpectedly in August, a day after U.S. data showed the economy grew at its fastest pace in the second quarter in over two years.

* Upbeat growth numbers lifted Wall Street on Wednesday even as investors worried about Harvey and geopolitical tensions around North Korea.

* U.S. core inflation figures will be released at 08:30 a.m. ET (1230 GMT) on Thursday. The data is closely scrutinized by the Federal Reserve as it seeks to raise rates once more this year.

* Other economic data includes a report on initial jobless claims, which is likely to show the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits increased by 3,000 to 237,000 for the week ended Aug. 26.

* The reports precede the government’s more comprehensive employment report on Friday.

* President Donald Trump said on Wednesday he wants to see the corporate tax rate drop to 15 percent but offered no new tax plan, leaving the proposal in the hands of Congress.

* Tensions between the United States and North Korea seemed to escalate after Trump dismissed any diplomatic negotiations via a tweet, saying “talking is not the answer,” a day after Pyongyang fired a ballistic missile that flew over Japan.

* Shares of Dollar General were slightly lower after reporting quarterly results.

* Dryships slumped 18 percent after reporting a bigger quarterly loss and the company said it received a subpoena from the SEC.

Futures snapshot at 7:05 a.m. ET:

* Dow e-minis were up 62 points, or 0.28 percent, with 17,015 contracts changing hands.

* S&P 500 e-minis were up 6.5 points, or 0.26 percent, with 131,493 contracts traded.

* Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 13.75 points, or 0.23 percent, on volume of 27,196 contracts. (Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)

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