Dow futures slightly lower as trade tensions persist; oil prices pare losses

U.S. stock index futures were slightly lower Thursday morning, after President Donald Trump declined to set a deadline on levying tariffs on another $325 billion of Chinese goods.

At around 02:50 a.m. ET, Dow futures dipped 38 points, indicating a negative open of more than 37 points. Futures on the S&P and Nasdaq were both seen slightly lower.

On the data front, import prices for May and the latest weekly jobless claims figures will both be released at around 8:30 a.m. ET.

Broadcom is expected to report its latest quarterly earnings results after market close.

Market focus is largely attuned to global trade developments, amid intensifying tensions between the world’s two largest economies.

Expectations that trade officials from the U.S. and China will clinch a deal on the side-lines of a G20 meeting in Osaka on June 28-29 have been fading in recent days.

Trump, who has said he still has plans to meet with Xi later this month, has repeatedly threatened to escalate an already months-long trade war by putting tariffs on almost all of the remaining Chinese imports that are not already impacted by U.S. charges.

Washington and Beijing have imposed tariffs on billions of dollars’ worth of one another’s goods since the start of 2018, battering financial markets and souring business and consumer sentiment.

Elsewhere, oil prices pared some of their recent losses on Thursday, following a sharp sell-off in the previous session. Crude futures tumbled as much as 4% on Wednesday, slipping to near five-month lows amid continued increases in U.S. crude stockpiles and concerns about lower demand growth.

International benchmark Brent crude traded at around $60.69 Thursday morning, up over 1%, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) stood at $51.46, up more than 0.6%.