June 18, 2018 / 11:29 AM / a month ago

US STOCKS-Futures lower as tariffs fuel U.S.-China trade war fears

* Futures down: Dow 0.74 pct, S&P 500 0.62 pct, Nasdaq 0.7 pct

By Ankur Banerjee

June 18 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures fell on Monday as tit-for-tat tariffs between the United States and China heightened fears that an escalating trade dispute could weigh on global markets.

U.S. President Donald Trump announced tariffs on Friday on $50 billion of Chinese imports, with China retaliating immediately by slapping duties on American exports, including crude oil, and suspending all previous trade agreements.

Since early May, the world’s two biggest economies have held several rounds of talks but have failed to reach a deal, as the United States pushes China to narrow a $375 billion trade deficit.

Oil prices steadied on Monday ahead of an OPEC meeting that is widely expected to increase global crude supply.

Investors are also assessing the impact of tightening monetary policy by central banks after the U.S. Federal Reserve increased interest rate last week and the European Central Bank said it planned to end its bond-purchase program at year-end.

At 7:22 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were down 186 points, or 0.74 percent, S&P 500 e-minis were down 17.25 points, or 0.62 percent and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 51 points, or 0.7 percent.

JD.Com’s U.S. shares were up 7 percent in premarket after Alphabet’s Google invested $550 million in the Chinese e-commerce powerhouse. (Reporting by Ankur Banerjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)

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