March 26, 2018 / 12:00 PM / 6 months ago

US STOCKS-Futures jump on report of U.S.-China trade talks

* Futures up: Dow 281 pts, S&P 32.5 pts, Nasdaq 99.5 pts

By Sruthi Shankar

March 26 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures jumped more than 1 percent on Monday after a report that the United States and China had started trade negotiations, cooling fears about a trade war between the two countries.

The Wall Street Journal reported late on Sunday that Beijing and Washington had started quiet negotiations to improve U.S. access to Chinese markets, after President Donald Trump announced plans to impose tariffs on Chinese imports last week.

By 7:02 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 281 points, S&P 500 e-minis rose 32.5 points and Nasdaq 100 e-minis gained 99.5 points.

Fears of a global trade war, faster rise in U.S. interest rates and a slump in Facebook shares had sent the main U.S. indexes to their worst weekly declines since Jan. 2016.

The S&P 500 is down 3.2 percent for the year, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has slid 4.2 percent. The Nasdaq Composite held on to a 1.3 percent gain.

Facebook lost $75 billion in stock market value last week, following the outcry over its handling of users' data. Facebook shares were up marginally in premarket trading.

Microsoft rose nearly 3 percent after Morgan Stanley hiked its price target on the stock by $20 to $130, saying the company could hit $1 trillion in market value with growing public adoption of the cloud and improving margins.

Intel gained more than 2 percent after brokerage Raymond James raised the stock to "market perform".

Federal Reserve's New York chief William Dudley and his Cleveland counterpart, Loretta Mester, are scheduled to speak later in the day. Both of them are voters on the rate-setting committee this year. (Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva)

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