March 23, 2018 / 11:59 AM / a month ago

US STOCKS-Futures drop on trade war fears

* Futures down: Dow 82 pts, S&P 5.25 pts, Nasdaq 42.25 pts

By Sruthi Shankar

March 23 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were lower on Friday, continuing a sell-off on Wall Street a day earlier due to the rising threat of a global trade war after President Donald Trump moved to impose tariffs on up to $60 billion of Chinese goods.

China, while urging the United States to “pull back from the brink,” disclosed its own plans Friday to slap tariffs on up to $3 billion of U.S. imports, deepening fears that the world’s two largest economies are heading into a trade war, with potentially dire consequences for the global economy.

Bond prices gained as investors sought safer assets. U.S. 10-year Treasury yields, which fell almost 8 basis points on Thursday, were set for their biggest two-week fall since September.

Trump shook up his foreign policy team again on Thursday, replacing H.R. McMaster as national security adviser with John Bolton, a hawk who has advocated using military force against North Korea and Iran.

Futures dipped on the latest shake up in the White House and, after gyrating overnight, are still lower.

By 7:04 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were down 82 points, S&P 500 e-minis fell 5.25 points and Nasdaq 100 e-minis declined 42.25 points.

Among the top 25 most active stocks in premarket trading, 23 were in the red, led by a 7.7 percent decline in the shares of Micron Technology.

Micron posted better-than-expected quarterly results, but Citigroup noted a deterioration in NAND prices that it said would weigh on results.

Those comments could spell trouble for other chipmakers and add to the pressure on the technology sector, which is already on track for its biggest weekly loss since February 2016.

The sector is down 5.3 percent in the past four day, led by a drop in big tech names in the aftermath of Facebook’s data privacy issues.

Among the bright spots, Nike rose nearly 5 percent after saying it expected its North America business to return to growth in the latter half of this year. (Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D’Souza)

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