U.S. Stock Index Futures Fall as Asian Markets Extend Losses

(Bloomberg) -- U.S. stock index futures dropped for a second day as a lack of improvement in trade relations between the U.S. and China gave investors little reason to buy after equities languished in New York Thursday.

March futures slid as much as 0.9 percent on the S&P 500 Index as of 6:43 a.m. in London as Asian markets extended losses. Apple Inc. said a Chinese ban on the sale of some models of the iPhone will force it to settle a long and bitter licensing battle with Qualcomm Inc., according to a recent legal filing. Futures on the Nasdaq 100 Index and Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 1.1 percent and 0.8 percent, respectively.

“Trade issues are obviously worrying investors, and even as there had been progress between China and the U.S., there’s still a long way to go before that issue is resolved,” said Shane Oliver, Sydney-based head of investment strategy at AMP Capital Investors. “The iPhone issue is probably not helping.”

U.S. Stock Index Futures Fall as Asian Markets Extend Losses

China’s economic data on Friday also hurt investor sentiment, Seo Sang-young, a strategist at Kiwoom Securities, wrote in a note. China’s economy slowed again in November as retail sales and industrial production weakened, creating a challenging backdrop for policy makers who gather next week to set the tone for the year at their annual Economic Work Conference in Beijing.

Markets may be affected by a series of events next week including Micron Technology Inc. earnings and a statement from U.S. Federal Reserve, Seo said.

The S&P 500 Index finished the Thursday session little changed, with about three decliners in the benchmark for every two that rose. Utilities advanced, while banks came under pressure. The Dow Jones Industrial Average eked out a gain, led by Procter & Gamble Co. and McDonald’s Corp.

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