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Futures down on jitters ahead of U.S.-China trade talks



(Reuters) – U.S. stock index futures fell on Friday on caution ahead of a much-awaited meeting between the presidents of the United States and China at the G20 Summit, which could determine the fate of the ongoing trade dispute that has roiled financial markets.

Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., November 29, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Overhanging the two-day meeting of 20 industrialized nations in Buenos Aires is a bitter trade war between two of the world’s largest economies, in which both nations have imposed tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars of each other’s imports. [nL2N1Y4297]

President Donald Trump sent conflicting signals on a potential trade deal with China on Thursday after saying he was close to making a deal but was not sure if he wanted to do it, leading to a choppy session.

“Trump didn’t give us much cause for optimism on Thursday,” said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at Oanda in London.

“Investors will be hoping that the two presidents, Trump and Xi, will be able and willing to make real progress in their trade dispute at the G20 meeting in Buenos Aires and avoid the need for further tariffs.”

Boeing Inc (BA.N), the single largest U.S. exporter to China, dropped 0.9 percent in premarket trading. Other trade-sensitive stocks including General Electric Co (GE.N) declined 2.6 percent and Caterpillar Inc (CAT.N) 0.2 percent.

However, the S&P 500 has risen 4 percent so far this week, and was set to post its biggest percentage gain in nine months, helped by dovish comments from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, with latest Fed minutes opening up a debate on when to pause further interest rate hikes. [nL2N1Y41S4]

At 6:35 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis 1YMc1 were down 127 points, or 0.5 percent. S&P 500 e-minis ESc1 were down 12.5 points, or 0.46 percent and Nasdaq 100 e-minis NQc1 were down 33 points, or 0.48 percent.

Marriott International Inc (MAR.O) dropped 5.6 percent after the company said a guest reservation database of its Starwood Hotel brand was breached, potentially exposing information on about 500 million guests. [nL4N1Y5434]

HP Inc (HPQ.N) rose 2.6 percent after its quarterly revenue beat analysts’ estimates on Thursday, driven by growth in its personal systems business. [nL4N1Y45MY]

Reporting by Amy Caren Daniel in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur