Friday February 8th


Dow futures fall more than 100 points on concerns over trade, global growth

U.S. stock index futures were lower Friday, with market participants increasingly worried about a broadening global economic slowdown. At around 7 a.m. ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures fell 139 points, indicating a loss of 144.53 points at the open. Futures on the S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 were also lower. The losses extended Thursday's sell-off, spurred by uncertainty surrounding the China-U.S. trade talks. The Dow industrials dropped 220.77 points to 25,169.53, while the S&P 500 pulled back 0.94 percent to 2,706.05 and the Nasdaq Composite slid about 1.2 percent to close at 7,288.35. Market focus on Friday continued to be attuned to global trade developments, after President Donald Trump said he did not plan to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping before a March 1 deadline to reach a deal. Trump's stance rattled investors hoping for a positive resolution to a long-running trade dispute between the world's two largest economies. While Trump and Xi are still expected to meet eventually, there's too much work to do to flesh out a deal with China and prepare Trump for a high-stakes meeting with North Korea's Kim Jong Un. Trump's summit with Kim is set for February 27-28. Elsewhere, the European Commission on Thursday sharply downgraded its forecast for euro zone economic growth in 2019 and 2020. The news exacerbated fears that a global economic downturn is spreading to Europe. There are no major economic reports scheduled on Friday. Stocks in Asia slipped on Friday amid growing concerns over the trade fight between the U.S. and China. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index, which returned to trade after being offline for most of the week due to the Lunar New Year holidays, slipped 0.18 percent in afternoon trade. Japan's Nikkei 225 declined 2.01 percent to close at 20,333.17 as index heavyweight Fast Retailing fell 0.5 percent. The Topix shed 1.89 percent to close at 1,539.40. South Korea's Kospi also slipped 1.2 percent to finish its trading week at 2,177.05. Oil prices rose on Friday but benchmark crude futures were heading for a weekly loss, pulled down by worries about a global economic slowdown. However, OPEC-led supply cuts and U.S. sanctions against Venezuela provided crude with some support. International Brent crude futures had erased earlier losses around 8:55 a.m. ET (1355 GMT), gaining 45 cents to $62.08 per barrel. On the week, they are set for a loss of around 1 percent. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures stood at $52.76 per barrel, up 12 cents and looking at a 4.5 percent weekly slump, their steepest this year. Gold held steady on Friday en route to its first weekly loss in three, pressured by gains in the dollar, but kept above the $1,300 level by concerns over economic growth in Europe and elsewhere. Spot gold was steady at $1,310.46 per ounce, as of 1029 GMT, after hitting its lowest since Jan. 29 at $1,302.11 on Thursday. U.S. gold futures were up about 0.1 percent at $1,314.70.