US pre-open: Stocks set for higher start on talk of Chinese peace proposal
Stocks futures were pointing to a slightly higher open on Monday amid a report of a "peace proposal" from Beijing on trade and positive-sounding headlines around Brexit.
According to Politico, which cited two persons familiar with the matter, in a phone call between top trade officials made during the previous week, China offered to purchase a modest amount of US agricultural goods, albeit possibly contingent on the US letting up on some of the pressure against Chinese telecoms equipment maker Huawei and postponing the next round of trade levies which was due to kick in on 1 October.
Politico also reported on Friday that, depending on the progress made in trade talks, President Donald Trump was considering delaying the tranche of trade tariffs which was scheduled to be implemented on 15 December.
As of 1100 BST, futures on the Dow Jones mini were pointing to an opening gain of 62.0 points on the Dow Jones Industrials to 26,873.0, alongside an advance of 8.5 points for the S&P 500 to 2,989.50 and a rise of 21.0 points on the Nasdaq-100 to 7,879.50.
In parallel, front month West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures were edging up by 0.83% to $56.99 a barrel on the ICE after consultancy Baker Hughes reported a drop in the number of oil rigs in operation in the States over the latest week, from 742 to 738.
And the US dollar spot index was drifting 0.07% lower to 98.3220.
Also on Friday, the US Chamber of Commerce published an analysis showing that 43% of Fortune 500 company executives had raised or addressed worries regarding the US trade duties.
On a related note, analysts at Deutsche Bank told clients on Monday that the US economy was on a "reasonably stable footing" but added that "the trade spat has gone beyond our expectations. The economy is also showing greater sensitivity to this turmoil, with leading indicators for manufacturing sentiment and capex sending dire signals and accumulating evidence of spillovers to the broader labor market and services sector."
No major economic reports were scheduled for release.
In an interview with Bloomberg Businessweek, Microsoft President and chief legal officer, Brad Smith, criticised the lack of transparency around Washington's moves against Huawei.
Alcoa shares meanwhile were being called to start the session lower a half percentage point lower after announcing plans to eliminate its structure of separate business units with a view to reducing overheads.