August 25, 2019 / 10:26 PM / 25 days ago

U.S. equity futures reopen lower, U.S.-China trade relations at new low ebb

A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange shortly after the closing bell in New York, U.S., August 23, 2019. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

(Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures dropped when electronic trading resumed on Sunday, with trade relations between the United States and China appearing to reach a new low on Friday, sending Wall Street into a selling frenzy.

White House spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham sought on Sunday to clarify comments from Trump, saying the president wished he had raised tariffs on Chinese goods even higher last week, even as Trump signaled he did not plan to follow through with a demand he tweeted on Friday that U.S. firms find ways to close operations in China.

In early trading, the benchmark S&P 500’s emini futures contract was down 1.23%. Futures tracking the Nasdaq Composite Index and Dow Jones Industrial Average were also down.

Trump raised eyebrows on the sidelines of the weekend G7 summit in France when he responded in the affirmative to questions from reporters on whether he had any second thoughts about raising tariffs on Chinese goods by 5%.

Trump announced the additional duty on some $550 billion in targeted Chinese goods on Friday, hours after China unveiled retaliatory tariffs on $75 billion worth of U.S. goods.

Reporting by Alden Bentley in New York; Editing by Peter Cooney

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