US futures lower as geopolitics dampen risk appetite

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US stock futures indicate that markets will begin the week on the back foot tracking Asian and European bourses lower following geopolitical tensions in Asia and a wobble in Deutsche Bank shares.

President Donald Trump’s accusations that the Obama administration tapped his phone also appeared to curb risk appetite, while expectations that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates next week continue to build.

S&P 500 futures were down 0.2 per cent 2,375.75 — that comes after the S&P 500 clocked six straight weekly gains, its longest such streak since 2015. Meanwhile, Dow futures slid 0.1 per cent to 20,956.00 — the index pushed deeper into record territory last week, breaking above 21,000 for the first time. Meanwhile, Nasdaq futures slid 0.15 per cent to 5,364.00.

The nervy sentiment began when North Korea fired four ballistic missiles into the Sea of Japan on Monday. That in turn prompted South Korea’s acting president to reiterate the nation’s commitment to deploying a US-built missile shield, angering China, which fears the technology could allow the US to spy on its military developments.

Meanwhile, Deutsche Bank’s plans for a new capital raise sent shares in the German lender sharply lower and weighed on European stocks.

However, the caution in US trading also comes as the Fed’s March monetary policy meeting comes into focus. US stocks have been hitting fresh record highs on expectations of Donald Trump’s stimulus plans and tax reforms and as investors have taken their cues from the upbeat assessment of the US economy by Fed speakers.

But investors appeared to be taking stock on Monday as Mr Trump’s accusations at the former administration were viewed as distracting from his fiscal plans.

Elsewhere, the yield on the US 10-year Treasury note slipped to 2.473 per cent. Yields fall when prices rise

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