US stock index futures are little changed in early pre-market trading
US stocks fell for a second session in a row on Tuesday as investors monitored rising tensions between the US and China amid House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s Taiwan visit. In turn, Beijing announced plans to carry out military drills and missile tests in an area encircling Taiwan. The S&P 500 slipped 0.67%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 1.23%, and the Nasdaq Composite fell 0.16%. The Dow was pressured by Caterpillar as stocks plunged nearly 6% amid disappointing quarterly earnings.
Asian stock markets were mixed-to-higher on Wednesday amid the ongoing frictions between the US and China. Investors cheered the fact that Beijing announced no immediate major penalties in response to the arrival of Speaker Nancy Pelosi in Taiwan. Still, Beijing did announce a ban on imports of some Taiwanese goods. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares rose 0.19% while Japan’s Nikkei 225 added 0.53%. China’s Shanghai Composite Shanghai Composite gave up 0.71% while the Hang Seng Index in Kong Kong gained less than 0.1%.
In Europe, equities opened mixed as risk tones are keeping more tentative on Wednesday. Markets are calmer after Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, but investors remain nervous as China said they will be conducting military drills and operations in the next few days. The UK’s FTSE 200 Index fell nearly 0.5% at the start of the session, with investors shifting their focus to the Bank of England policy meeting due on Thursday. The central bank is widely expected to raise rates by 0.5% in order to fight elevated inflation. US stock index futures are little changed on the day with S&P 500 futures relatively flat in early pre-market trading.
As the US-China tensions sparked initial demand for safe-haven assets, the dollar rallied across the board on Tuesday. The USD index rallied back to the 106.50 zone before losing some upside momentum today. As a result, EURUSD fell to the 20-DMA after a brief rally towards the 1.0300 figure that triggered a strong sell-off. Should the pair fail to hold above the mentioned moving average, currently around 1.0155, the shared currency may retest the 1.0100 figure in the near term.