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U.S. Equity Futures Mixed Ahead of PPI, Consumer Data

U.S. S&P 500 stock index futures inched higher on Friday, indicating the index may hold its ground after its biggest decline since early February, ahead of data on inflation and consumer confidence.Equities tumbled on Thursday on rising concerns over Ukraine and Russia and new signs of an economic slowdown in China.U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will seek assurances from Russia on Friday that it will not seek to annex Crimea and will address concerns over Ukraine through negotiation, a senior State Department official said before talks in London.Kerry's meeting is an attempt to defuse tension between Moscow and the West ahead of a referendum, which looks set to proceed on Sunday, that will decide whether Crimea will become part of Russia, a Russian-majority region of Ukraine.Russia's navy said fighter jets had started training exercises over the Mediterranean Sea, an announcement that is likely to raise tensions in the standoff with Ukraine over the future of Crimea.Data expected o...

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