Futures move lower as U.S. blacklists Chinese entities over human rights abuses

U.S. stock market

Wall Street set to fall at open

The U.S. stock market looks poised to open lower on Tuesday with investors moving cautiously ahead of scheduled trade talks between Washington and Beijing this week.

On Monday, the Trump administration added 28 Chinese firms and organizations to its economic blacklist, saying they are being used by China to abuse Muslim minority groups within the country.

The blacklisted firms include video surveillance giants Dahua and Hikvision. Chinese artificial intelligence companies such as iFlytek, Sense Time, and Megvii were also included in the list. The blacklist drew sharp criticism from China, which said the U.S. should stop meddling in its affairs.

By 5:20 a.m. ET, the blue-chip Dow futures were down 28 points, or 0.11% to 26,111 while the broader S&P 500 futures dropped 3.62 points, or 0.12% to 2,933.88. The tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 futures were seen declining 5 points, or 0.06% to 7,735.

Brexit talks reportedly near collapse

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is reportedly planning to end talks after phone conversation with German Chancellor Angela Merkel ended in deadlock on Tuesday morning.

Multiple media reports say Merkel told Johnson that a Brexit deal was “overwhelmingly unlikely” unless Northern Ireland is allowed to remain in the EU customs union.

The UK government believes a withdrawal agreement is now “essentially impossible” following the phone call between the two leaders, according to the reports. Pound slid 0.5% against the U.S. dollar.

Hong Kong stock exchange scraps its $37 billion bid for the London exchange

Hong Kong Exchange and Clearing (HKEX) confirmed early Tuesday that it has given up on its $37 billion takeover offer for the London Stock Exchange Group (LSE).

“The board of HKEX is disappointed that it has been unable to engage with the management of LSE in realising this vision. As a consequence, has decided it is not in the best interests of HKEX shareholders to pursue this proposal,” HKEX said.

The withdrawal of HKEX’s interest in its London rival paves the way for the latter to conclude its $27 billion plan to buy data and analytics firm Refinitiv Holdings Ltd.

Shares of HKEX ended Tuesday’s session up 2.3%, while those of LSE slumped nearly 6% in early trading.