Monday September 30th


Stock futures point to higher open as Street monitors US-China trade developments

U.S. stock index futures rose on Monday, the last day of September, as investors kept an eye on the latest trade developments between the U.S. and China. Around 9:15 a.m. ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures indicated a gain of 31 points at the open. S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures also traded higher. Wall Street ended lower last week on reports that the White House is considering limiting U.S. investment into China, including a possible delisting of Chinese companies from U.S. stock exchanges, in a further escalation of the ongoing trade dispute between the world’s two largest economies. Chinese state media called the potential restrictions “the latest attempt at decoupling” and warned of “significant repercussions for the Chinese and U.S. economies, as well as their companies, in the future.” In a statement over the weekend, however, a Treasury spokeswoman said “the administration is not contemplating blocking Chinese companies from listing shares on U.S. stock exchanges at this time.” The statement, along with better-than-expected economic data out of China, lifted Wall Street sentiment on Monday. U.S. and China trade delegations are due to meet on Oct. 10 as both sides try to move closer to a deal. Both countries have slapped tariffs on billions of dollars worth of their goods, dampening expectations for economic and corporate profit growth. The major indexes were headed for a mixed monthly performance. The Nasdaq Composite was down slightly for September entering Monday’s session while the S&P 500 and Dow were up more than 1%. Asia stocks were mixed on Monday as Chinese factory activity in September came in above expectations. Mainland Chinese stocks slipped on the day, with the Shanghai composite shedding 0.92% to about 2,905.19 and Shenzhen component falling 1.08% to 9,446.24. The Shenzhen composite also slipped 1.058% to approximately 1,595.21. Over in Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index rose 0.52%, as of its final hour of trading. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 slipped 0.56% to close at 21,755.84. The Topix also shed 1.03% to finish its trading day at 1,587.80. South Korea’s Kospi advanced 0.64% to close at 2,063.05. Oil slipped on Monday as China’s economic outlook remained weak even as manufacturing data improved, with an ongoing trade war with the United States weighing on demand growth for the world’s largest crude importer. Brent crude futures were down 91 cents or 1.5% at $61 a barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were 61 cents or 1.1% lower at $55.30 a barrel. Gold prices, meanwhile, were weighed down by a robust dollar as fears of an escalation in the U.S.-China trade war eased. Markets received tempirary reassurance over news that the U.S. administration was considering delisting Chinese companies from U.S. stock exchanges, with a spokeswoman for the White House saying it is not contemplating such a move “at this time.” Spot gold dropped 0.78% to $1,484.81 an ounce. Prices have shed about 3% since hitting a three-week high of $1,535.60 on Sept. 24.