US stock futures tumble on report of no progress in Sino-US talks

US stock futures tumble on report of no progress in Sino-US talks

TOKYO,. US stock futures tumbled and the safe haven yen and the Swiss franc gained in early Asian trade today after a media report that the United States and China had made no progress in deputy-level trade talks earlier in the week.

The South China Morning Post also said the Chinese delegation, headed by Vice Premier Liu He, is planning to leave Washington today after just one day of minister-level meetings, instead of an originally planned departure set for tomorrow.

S&P500 mini futures slumped 1.1 per cent and Chicago-traded futures imply a fall of 0.4 per cent for Japan’s Nikkei .

In the currency market, the yen advanced 0.3 per cent to 107.11 to the dollar while the Swiss franc also gained 0.3 per cent to 0.9929 franc per dollar.

The Chinese yuan dropped 0.4 per cent in offshore trade to 7.1685 per dollar, touching its lowest level in five weeks.

The report on the US-China trade talks came less than a couple of hours after US President Donald Trump told reporters he thinks China wants to make a trade deal more than he does.

Chinese government officials told Reuters that Beijing has lowered expectations for significant progress from this week’s trade talks with the United States, upset by the blacklisting of Chinese companies.

Top negotiators from the two countries — Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin — were scheduled to meet in Washington today and tomorrow to try to end a bruising 15-month-old trade war.

Without significant progress, Trump is set to hike the tariff rate on US$250 billion (RM1.04 trillion) worth of Chinese goods to 30 per cent from 25 per cent next Tuesday.

Before the media report on the lack of progress in the trade talks, share prices had gained yesterday, with the S&P 500 rising 0.91 per cent on hopes of a possible compromise between the world’s two biggest economies. — Reuters

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