Stocks set to open higher amid escalating U.S.-China tensions


Stock futures point to a positive open

U.S. stock markets are poised to inch a little higher on Wednesday, after closing the previous session lower as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan sparked geopolitical tensions.

Pelosi landed in Taiwan on Tuesday, defying a string of warnings and threats from China. She met President Tsai Ing-wen and members of Taiwan’s parliament, and assured them of continued American support.

Following the trip, China announced that it would suspend imports of frozen horse mackerel, chilled white striped hairtail, oranges, grapefruit, and lemons from Taiwan. Beijing also announced military drills and missile tests.

China sees the self-ruled island of Taiwan as a breakaway province it aims to take back.

As of 5 a.m. ET, Dow futures climbed 89 points, or 0.27% to 32,454. S&P 500 futures added 8.25 points, or 0.2% to 4,102 while the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 futures jumped 7.25 points, or 0.06% to 12,931.75.

AMTD Digital extends gains premarket

AMTD Digital (HKD) extended its jaw-dropping surge in premarket trading on Wednesday, climbing more than 4% from Monday’s close as bullish traders continue to pile on the stock.

The stock jumped to $1,750 in premarket hours compared with its closing price of $1,679 on Tuesday.

Shares of the Hong Kong-based developer of digital entertainment platforms have gained more than 32,220% since the company made its Wall Street debut on July 15.

Analysts believe the rally is being driven by the relatively low share float and overwhelming demand for the stock.

On Monday, AMTD said “there are no material circumstances, events nor other matters relating to our company’s business and operating activities since the IPO date.”

Fed policymakers hint at more rate hikes

Meanwhile, U.S. Federal Reserve officials have indicated that additional interest rate hikes are coming in the near term.

In remarks on Tuesday, three Fed officials said there was no sign yet that inflation is cooling.

San Francisco Fed President Mary Daly noted in an interview that the Fed is “nowhere near almost done” in its current fight against red-hot inflation.

Separately, Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester, said that “we haven’t seen inflation cool at all.”

Mester added that the Fed will need to keep hiking interest rates until there is “compelling evidence” that inflation has first peaked.

Chicago Fed President Charles Evans, meanwhile, indicated the central bank will keep hiking rates for the foreseeable future.

Evans also said he expects a “reasonable” 50-basis-point increase at the next meeting in September,” adding that “75 could also be OK.”