U.S. stock index futures were slightly lower Wednesday morning, as the White House took a tough line on trade talks with China.
Market focus is largely attuned to global trade developments, after President Donald Trump said Tuesday that he was holding up a trade deal with China and had no interest in moving ahead unless Beijing agreed on as many as five “major points.” Trump did not specify these trade issues.
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.
The U.S. president also reignited criticism of the Federal Reserve‘s monetary policy on Tuesday. Trump said the U.S. central bank had set interest rates “way too high ” and had “no clue” what it was doing.
Policymakers at the Fed are scheduled to meet next week against a backdrop of rising trade tensions, slowing U.S. growth and a sharp fall in hiring in May. Market participants currently expect at least two rate cuts before the end of the year.
Investors are likely to closely monitor consumer price index data (CPI) for May at around 8:30 a.m. ET, with core CPI excluding food and energy for May due at the same time. The latest Federal Budget figures will be released slightly later in the session.