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Morning Market Roundup: U.S. Futures, U.K. Borrowing, & Oil Up


Here’s what’s important in the business world this morning

U.K. Borrowing: The British government's attempts to cut its deficit were thrown off track Tuesday when it revealed it borrowed more money than expected in July due to a fall in money raised from taxes.

Public sector borrowing in July hit 600 million pounds ($945 million), compared to a surplus of 2.8 billion pounds a year ago, the Office for National Statistics said Tuesday. The public sector usually posts a surplus for July as it is a strong month for tax receipts. However, tax revenues for the month were down nearly 1 percent, with corporation tax revenue falling by 10 percent.

The figures suggest the U.K. may overshoot its full-year borrowing target, and will open up the debate on the effectiveness of the government's austerity measures, which were introduced to bring the U.K.'s deficit back under control.

Britain's 1.5 trillion pound ($2.4 trillion) economy is the third-largest in the 27-country European Union after Germany and France. The country has been in recession for the last nine months, with a reported drop in output of 0.7 percent in the second quarter. The statistics agency will release its revised estimate for the period on Friday, with analysts expecting an upward revision, though remaining negative.

U.S. Futures: U.S. market futures moved higher Tuesday on new hopes that the European Union will step in to help prop up the continent's most troubled nations.

Anticipation is already driving down borrowing rates for nations like Spain, where the cost of raising money had recently hit dangerous levels. On Tuesday, Spain was able to raise $5.4 billion in short-term debt at sharply lower interest rates than at the last such auction.

Dow Jones industrial futures added 40 points to 13,269. The broader S&P futures added 2.9 points to 1,417.60. Nasdaq futures gained 11.5 points to 2,791.25.

World markets also rode higher as details emerged of a European Central Bank bond-buying plan. Britain's FTSE-100 index rose 0.4 percent. Germany's DAX advanced 0.5 percent. France's CAC-40 added 0.7 percent.

Oil: The price of oil rose Tuesday, buoyed by gains in other financial markets, as investors awaited the release this week of the minutes from the Federal Reserve's last meeting that will give clues as to the intentions of the U.S. central bank.

Benchmark oil for September delivery rose 71 cents to $96.68 per barrel in midday trading in London in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract dropped 4 cents to finish at $95.97 per barrel in New York Monday.

Brent crude, which is used to price international varieties of oil, rose 79 cents to $114.48 per barrel in London.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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