* Former FBI director to testify before Congress on Thursday,
* UK election outcome, ECB meeting also on same day
* Oil falls further below $50 as Mideast rift weighs
* Futures down: Dow 47 pts, S&P 6 pts, Nasdaq 11.50 pts (Adds details, comment, updates prices)
By Tanya Agrawal
June 6 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks looked set to open lower on Tuesday as investors turned risk averse ahead of British elections and former FBI Director James Comey’s much-anticipated testimony before Congress later this week.
Comey, who was fired by President Donald Trump in May, will be grilled by the Senate Intelligence Committee on whether Trump tried to get him to back off an investigation into alleged ties between the president’s 2016 campaign and Russia.
British Prime Minister Theresa May’s lead over the opposition Labour Party ahead of the general election has narrowed to just 1 percentage point, according to a poll conducted on Friday and Saturday before the latest attacks in London.
Other opinion polls in recent days have indicated bigger leads for the Conservatives, some as high as 11 and 12 points.
ECB policymakers are set to take a more benign view of the economy when they meet on Thursday and will even discuss dropping some of their pledges to ramp up stimulus if needed, sources told Reuters.
“The indices are in a holding pattern with a downside bias awaiting Thursday’s key events, namely the Comey testimony, the ECB and GB elections,” Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at First Standard Financial in New York, wrote in a note.
“On the other hand, investors abroad are rushing into Gold as the political situation in Great Britain and U.S. raises the level of ‘Fear factor’.”
Safe havens were in favor, with gold touching its highest in about seven weeks. Spot gold was up 0.96 percent at $1291.79 an ounce.
Dow e-minis were down 47 points, or 0.22 percent, with 22,704 contracts changing hands at 8:22 a.m. ET (1222 GMT).
S&P 500 e-minis were down 6 points, or 0.25 percent, with 142,708 contracts traded.
Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 11.5 points, or 0.2 percent, on volume of 27,277 contracts.
Oil prices fell further below $50 a barrel on concerns that a diplomatic rift between Qatar and several Arab states, including Saudi Arabia, could undermine efforts by OPEC to tighten the market.
Wall Street slipped on Monday as a drop in Apple partly offset gains in energy and financial stocks, some of the market’s worst-performing sectors so far this year.
Still, stocks continue to hover around record levels, helped by a strong first-quarter corporate earnings season.
Shares of HD Supply Holdings were down 5.5 percent at $39 in premarket trading after the industrial distributor said it would sell a unit to private equity firm for $2.5 billion.
Thor Industries jumped 11.2 percent to $105.33 after the RV maker’s quarterly results beat expectations.
Michaels Cos fell 6.3 percent to $18.57 after the crafts and home decor retailer’s quarterly results disappointed. (Reporting by Tanya Agrawal in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D‘Silva)