Futures retreat as Sino-U.S. tensions simmer


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By Ambar Warrick

(Reuters) – U.S. stock index futures retreated on Friday as growing tensions between Washington and Beijing added to fears of a slower recovery from a coronavirus-led recession.

China moved on Friday to impose a national-security law in Hong Kong that could see mainland intelligence agencies set up bases in the global financial hub, raising fears of more pro-democracy protests.

The move could also ratchet up U.S.-China tensions as President Donald Trump on Thursday warned Washington would react “very strongly” if Beijing went ahead with the law. [MKTS/GLOB]

At 5:57 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were down 139 points, or 0.57%, S&P 500 e-minis were down 16.5 points, or 0.56%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 65.5 points, or 0.71%.

Still, Wall Street’s main indexes were set to end Friday with weekly gains on the back of stimulus hopes and optimism over a pickup in business activity with a nationwide easing in lockdowns.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise fell 7.1% in premarket trade after missing second-quarter revenue and profit estimates, hit by global lockdowns since February.

But data analytics software maker Splunk Inc rose 3.5% after saying it expects higher demand for its cloud services as people around the world take to working from home.

SPDR S&P 500 ETFs were down 0.83%.

The S&P 500 index closed down 0.78% at 2,948.51​ on Thursday.

(Reporting by Ambar Warrick in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)

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