June 15, 2018 / 11:34 AM / a month ago

US STOCKS-Futures slide as U.S. readies China tariffs

* Futures down: Dow 142 pts, S&P 10 pts, Nasdaq 21.5 pts

By Sruthi Shankar

June 15 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures fell on Friday as the Trump administration prepared to impose tariffs on Chinese goods worth $50 billion that could trigger a countermove from Beijing and escalate trade tensions between the two largest economies.

President Donald Trump made up his mind to impose "pretty significant" tariffs and was due to unveil details later on Friday, an administration official said. The list will target 800 product categories, down from 1,300 previously.

Washington and Beijing appear increasingly to be headed toward a trade war after several rounds of negotiations failed to resolve U.S. complaints over Chinese industrial policy, market access and a $375 billion trade gap.

Sources told a second list of products worth $100 billion had been cued up, despite China vowing to strike back quickly. Beijing has published its own list of threatened tariffs on $50 billion in U.S. goods, including soybeans, aircraft, and autos.

Shares of manufacturers Boeing and Caterpillar were down more than 0.5 percent in premarket trading, and car makers Tesla and General Motors fell 0.9 percent and 0.6 percent, respectively.

Investors are also weighing the impact of tightening monetary policy by central banks on the equities market.

The U.S. Federal Reserve increased its key interest rate this week and hinted at the possibility of two more hikes by the end of 2018. The European Central Bank said it would end its bond-purchase program at year-end, but signaled that any interest rate hike was still distant.

At 7:12 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were down 142 points, or 0.56 percent. S&P 500 e-minis were down 10 points, or 0.36 percent and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 21.5 points, or 0.3 percent.

NXP Semiconductors rose 3 percent after a media report that Beijing had already approved Qualcomm Inc's proposed $44 billion acquisition of the chipmaker. Qualcomm was up 1.6 percent. However, sources close to the talks told Reuters that China is yet to approve.

Adobe shares dropped 2.6 percent after the company projected third-quarter revenue that fell slightly below estimates. Its shares have run up more than 47 percent so far this year. (Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva)

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