June 20, 2018 / 11:51 AM / 5 months ago

US STOCKS-Futures climb after trade worries triggered selloff

* Futures up: Dow 0.34 pct, S&P 0.19 pct, Nasdaq 0.21 pct

By Medha Singh

June 20 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures rose on Wednesday, after a punishing few sessions for Wall Street due to a rapid escalation in trade tensions between the United States and China.

World stocks also steadied near three-week lows and Chinese markets bounced on rising expectations that policy stimulus by Beijing could temper some of the impact from the Sino-U.S. trade conflict.

Wall Street was slammed on Tuesday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average erasing its year-to-date gains, after President Donald Trump threatened to hit $200 billion of Chinese imports in response to Beijing’s retaliation, and promised another $200 billion of tariffs if Beijing hit back again.

While the China-U.S. tariff tit-for-tat has captured the market’s attention, the United States is also under fire from other countries for its protectionist measures.

The European Commission said on Wednesday that the European Union will start charging import duties of 25 percent on a range of U.S. products from Friday after Washington imposed tariffs on EU steel and aluminum at the start of June.

At 7:24 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 85 points, or 0.34 percent. S&P 500 e-minis were up 5.25 points, or 0.19 percent and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 15.25 points, or 0.21 percent.

The back and forth between Washington and Beijing has pushed the blue-chip Dow index to a six-day losing streak.

The 30-stock index is also set to lose its last remaining original member – General Electric Co, pushing the 126-year-old industrial conglomerate’s shares down 2 percent.

Walgreens gained 3.7 percent after S&P Dow Jones Indices said the drug store chain would replace GE on the Dow from June 26.

Starbucks fell 3.9 percent after the world’s largest coffee chain’s quarterly sales growth forecast missed analysts’ estimates.

Oracle dropped 3.7 percent after the software maker’s current-quarter profit forecast fell short of analysts’ expectations due to a strengthening U.S. dollar.

Media stocks will be in focus as Fox is set to decide whether to choose between Comcast’s $65 billion cash bid and Disney’s roughly $52 billion stock offer.

On the economic front, home sales data for May is expected to increase 1.5 percent, after dipping 2.5 percent in the previous month. The data is due at 10:00 a.m. ET. (Reporting by Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)

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