U.S. futures fell sharply on Thursday amid continuing trade war rhetoric, while more disappointing data from Europe showed that the impact of the trade conflict is spreading.
Business survey sentiment dampened in the European Union, while Japanese electronics Panasonic said it would limit its ties with Huawei after the Chinese tech giant was blacklisted by the U.S. government last week.
The U.S. government could also block other Chinese companies from purchasing American goods, which investors fear will continue to escalate the situation.
Dow futures fell 227 points or 0.8% by 6:41 AM ET (10:41 GMT), while tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 futures slumped 94 points or 1.3% and S&P 500 futures was down 26 points or 0.9%.
Meanwhile, minutes from the Federal Reserve’s May 1 meeting - which took place before the U.S. extended and raised import tariffs on Chinese goods - indicate that the central bank is comfortable with keeping rates steady for a while.
Boeing is likely to be in focus, as the Federal Aviation Authority meets with 30 other international air regulators to discuss the 737 MAX grounding. The FAA has said that it has not decided on a timeline for when the 737 Max would be able to take flight again. Europe’s air safety agency has already said it won’t let the jet de-ground without independent checks.
Snap Inc slumped 4.9% in premarket trade, while Tesla fell 3.9% and Apple was down 2.1%. Semiconductor companies continued to falter on trade uncertainty, with Intel falling 1.7% and Micron down 2.4%.
Avon Products was among the biggest gainers, rising 15.5% after Brazil’s Nautra confirmed it was buying out the cosmetic company.
On the economic front, jobless claims are out at 8:30 AM ET (12:30 GMT), while flash readings of manufacturing and services PMI figures for May also come out at the same time.
In commodities, crude oil fell 1.7% to $60.40 a barrel amid a sharp rise in U.S. stockpiles. Gold futures inched up 0.2% to $1,276.35 a troy ounce, while the U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, was up 0.2% to 98.067.