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Futures higher as oil rises; Fed speakers eyed

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Spencer Platt | Getty Images. U.S. stock index futures were higher Thursday morning as traders looked to speeches from members of the Federal Reserve.

U.S. stock index futures were higher Thursday morning, helped by gains in oil prices as a huge wildfire near Canada's oil sands and escalating tensions in Libya raised concerns of a near-term supply shortage.

Crude oil futures were up more than 4 percent near $45.70 a barrel, while brent traded more than 3.5 percent higher near $46.30 a barrel as of 8:35 a.m. ET.

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