April 9, 2018 / 11:43 AM / 8 months ago

US STOCKS-Futures higher as U.S.-China trade war fears ease

* Futures up: Dow 0.75 pct, S&P 0.63 pct, Nasdaq 0.82 pct

By Sweta Singh

April 9 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures rose on Monday ahead of the start of earnings season, pointing to an easing of last week's selloff after officials of the Trump administration stressed the trade dispute with China could be resolved through talks.

Global markets came under pressure last week as the United States and China threatened each other with tens of billions worth of tariffs. Investors remained on edge as they feared protectionist measures would hit global economic growth.

But Trump's Chief Economic Adviser Larry Kudlow said in an interview on Sunday the ongoing spat "might turn out to be very benign".

Trump echoed Kudlow's sentiment in a Twitter post that said any tariffs would be reciprocal and that he saw a "Great future for both countries!"

U.S. stocks dropped about 2 percent on Friday, with the Dow falling more than 570 points on trade war fears.

The week also marks the start of earning season with big U.S. banks such as JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and Wells Fargo set to report first-quarter results on Friday.

Investors expect tax cuts to help corporate America show its biggest quarterly profit growth in seven years.

At 7:33 AM ET (11:33 GMT), Dow e-minis were up 179 points, or 0.75 percent, with 48,611 contracts changing hands.

S&P 500 e-minis were up 16.5 points, or 0.63 percent, with 168,487 contracts changing hands.

Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 52.75 points, or 0.82 percent, in volume of 53,245 contracts.

AveXis stock was among the top 25 most active stocks in premarket trading. Shares of the gene therapy company were up nearly 85 percent after Swiss drugmaker Novartis offered to buy it for $8.7 billion.

Merck's shares rose 3 percent after the drugmaker's blockbuster cancer drug, Keytruda, met the main study goal of helping previously untreated lung cancer patients live longer.

Shares of General Motors were up 2.4 percent premarket after Morgan Stanley raised it to "overweight".

Reporting by Sweta Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur

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