US Equity Futures Trade Sideways; Asia Sloppy Overnight, Jones Trading Says

US equity futures were drifting sideways early Thursday, as traders awaited headers on the next round of tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese imports, said Dave Lutz, head of ETFs at Jones Trading. The Nasdaq led to the downside for the second-straight day as a regulatory storm brewed.

Over in Europe, the DAX attempted to shrug off a five-day slide as European exporters stabilized amid strength in autos, utilities and construction, while weakness in healthcare weighed. The FTSE was down marginally despite Bovis jumping on headers, as financials and pharmaceuticals fell.

It was a pretty sloppy overnight in Asia: The Nikkei fell 40 points following a strong earthquake in Hokkaido just days after typhoon Jebi emerged; the Hang Seng was off 1% as Tencent fell on headlines, and Shanghai fell 50 points. Taiwan was off 60 points, the KOSPI was down 20 points, the Aussie dropped 1.2% and emerging market Asia recovered, with Indonesia rising 1.6%.

Ahead of US employment ADP data due later, Treasuries traded flat, but Bunds caught a bid as Italy’s bonds came under pressure despite buyback headers.

The dollar was weaker, as sterling rose sharply on the back Tony Blair’s bullish remarks on a Brexit deal, while the euro shrugged off weak German factory orders. Emerging Market FX was under pressure with the rupee, lira, won, Peso trading lower, while China’s renminbi was set weaker overnight.

Iron ore jumped 2.2% in China, stoking a bid across the metal complex, paced by copper jumping nearly 2%. WTI drifted flat as traders await DOE confirmation from the API data released on Wednesday night. Softs were mixed.