May 22, 2018 / 11:51 AM / 7 months ago

US STOCKS-Futures rise as U.S.-China trade talks advance

* Futures up: Dow 0.22 pct, S&P 0.18 pct, Nasdaq 0.38 pct

By Medha Singh

May 22 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures rose on Tuesday on signs of further progress in trade talks between the United States and China as the world’s two largest economies pull back from the brink of a full-blown trade war.

Washington neared a deal to lift its ban on U.S. firms supplying Chinese telecoms gear maker ZTE Corp, sources said on Tuesday, and Beijing said it will steeply cut import tariffs for automobiles and car parts.

Shares of Ford, General Motors, Tesla, as well as the U.S.-listed shares of Ferrari and Fiat , were up between 0.8 percent and 2.4 percent in premarket trading.

The stock market has generally been volatile this year on a combination of factors including the fear of higher inflation spurring faster U.S. interest rate hikes and worries over a global trade war.

While investors may be relieved over the easing trade tensions, many U.S. government and industry officials view President Donald Trump is backing off from his tough stance against what they see as China’s unfair trade and market access practices.

At 7:26 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 55 points, or 0.22 percent. S&P 500 e-minis were up 5 points, or 0.18 percent and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 26.5 points, or 0.38 percent.

Micron, which raised its quarterly forecast and led the chipmakers higher on Monday, jumped 5.3 percent after announcing a $10 billion share buyback.

Facebook edged up 0.3 percent ahead of Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg’s defense of the company’s data practices to European lawmakers in Brussels. The testimony starts at 12:15 p.m. ET and comes three days before tough new European Union rules on data protection take effect.

The possibility of a ZTE reprieve boosted shares of optical component makers. Acacia Communications, which got 30 percent of its 2017 revenue from ZTE, rose 4.6 percent, while Oclaro gained 1.4 percent. (Reporting by Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)

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