Futures point to strong start after Trump’s upbeat trade comments

(Reuters) – U.S. stock futures rose about 0.7 percent on Wednesday, joining a global equities rally, as President Donald Trump’s encouraging comments fueled optimism over trade negotiations between the United States and China.

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., December 11, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Trump, in an interview with Reuters, said trade talks with Beijing were taking place by phone and he would not hike tariffs on Chinese imports until he was sure about a deal.

He also said he would intervene in the Justice Department’s case against a top executive at China’s Huawei Technologies [HWT.UL] if it would help secure a trade deal.

“This does discreetly imply that it is possible that the Trump administration is starting to recognize some of the detrimental impacts that the long-standing U.S.-China trade tensions can have on the U.S. economy,” Jameel Ahmad, global head of currency strategy & market research at FXTM, said in a client note.

Trump’s optimistic comments helped set S&P 500 equity futures on course for their biggest one-day percentage jump since Dec. 3. The gains come a day after another volatile session ended with Wall Street finishing slightly lower after Trump’s threat to shut down the U.S. government and political uncertainty in Britain.

Technology stocks, particularly chipmakers, which are sensitive to trade-related news, rose in premarket trading.

Among Dow components, Apple Inc (AAPL.O), Cisco Systems Inc (CSCO.O), Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O), Intel Corp (INTC.O) gained between 1.1 percent and 1.6 percent.

At 7:07 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis 1YMc1 were up 161 points, or 0.66 percent. S&P 500 e-minis ESc1 were up 17.75 points, or 0.67 percent and Nasdaq 100 e-minis NQc1 were up 58 points, or 0.86 percent.

In the seven sessions in December, the three indexes have shed more than 4 percent in volatile trading, weighed down by fears over global growth, U.S.-China relations, interest rates and growing complications over Britain’s planned divorce from the European Union.

British Prime Minister Theresa May faces a no-confidence vote later in the day, triggered by Conservative lawmakers, with the result expected at 2100 GMT (4 p.m. ET).

Some early losers included Verizon Communications Inc (VZ.N), which fell 1.2 percent after Morgan Stanley downgraded the wireless carrier’s shares, expecting limited 5G revenues and increased competition.

In economic data, a Labor Department report at 8:30 a.m. ET is expected to show consumer prices index remained unchanged in November after rising 0.3 percent in the prior month.

The core CPI, which strips out the volatile food and energy components, is likely to have risen 0.1 percent in November, lifting the year-over-year increase to 2.2 percent.

Reporting by Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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