Stocks – Futures Turn Lower on Trade Pessimism

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© Reuters. © Reuters. — U.S. futures turned lower at the start of the week after a report dampened hopes of any meaningful truce in the trade dispute between China and the U.S.

Talks between the two sides’ top trade negotiators are due to resume on Thursday, but Bloomberg cast doubt on any major progress, saying that the Chinese position had hardened and that it is no longer minded to make concessions on key issues such as subsidies to state-owned enterprises. It’s unclear however, how serious Beijing had ever been about making such concessions.

By 7:10 AM ET (1110 GMT), were down 44 points, or 0.2%, while and were down in parallel.

Tech stocks in general, and Broadcom (NASDAQ:) in particular, were set to face fresh pressure after a report that the EU’s antitrust authorities are set to step up their clampdown on what they see as abuse of market power by U.S. tech giants.

The Financial Times reported that the EU is set to issue “interim” measures forcing Broadcom (NASDAQ:) to suspend sales practises it suspects of being anti-competitive, even before the European Commission’s investigation into the issue has run its course. In Broadcom’s case, this refers to contractual requirements which stop Broadcom’s customers from buying chips elsewhere.

Elsewhere, GM stock is also likely to be in focus after battle-lines hardened in the company’s strike, which is now entering a fourth week. United Auto Workers representatives said negotiations between the two sides had “taken a turn for the worse,” with GM refusing to make assurances of job security for its U.S. workforce as it divvies up future production between the U.S. and Mexico.

ADRs in two major European banks will also be under the spotlight later. HSBC was reported over the weekend to be planning 10,000 job cuts – some 4% of its global workforce – as it tries to shore up profitability by paring back its operations in Europe. Meanwhile Credit Suisse (SIX:) Group, which only last week drew a line under a reputation-damaging investigation into former Global Wealth head Iqbal Khan, is reportedly facing up to $1.4 billion in legal damages for mis-selling mortgages prior to 2008 – more than twice what it has set aside.

The , which tracks the greenback against a basket of currencies, was effectively unchanged from late Thursday at 98.505, while were down 0.6% at $1,504.45 a troy ounce. were 1.3% higher at $53.48 a barrel.

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