Futures edge higher with trade talks in focus

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[June 24, 2019]  By Shreyashi Sanyal

(Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures edged higher on Monday, with investors hoping that the upcoming U.S.-China trade talks will help de-escalate a trade war that is damaging the global economy.

The S&P 500 index hit a record high last week, boosted by rising expectations of a cut in interest rates and optimism over a revival in trade talks between the United States and China.

Investors are awaiting an expected meeting between Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping later this week on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Japan.

"It's great that they are going to be sitting down in a room for a meeting and if they are in the room there is possibility for some improvements," said David Madden, an analyst at CMC Markets in London.

Shares of trade-sensitive Boeing Co were up 0.2% in premarket trading, while chip companies, which have a major exposure to China, also rose.

Investors were also hopeful that the U.S. Federal Reserve was ready to battle growing risks to global and domestic growth from the long-drawn trade conflict, after the U.S. central bank signaled a potential interest rate cut later this year.

At 7:15 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 46 points, or 0.17%. S&P 500 e-minis were up 4.75 points, or 0.16% and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 14.75 points, or 0.19%.

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Traders work on the main trading floor after the opening bell at New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S. June 20, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

However, keeping a check on early gains was rising tensions between the United States and Iran, after Tehran shot down an American drone last week.

Trump said on Sunday he was not seeking war with Iran after a senior Iranian military commander warned any conflict in the Gulf region could spread uncontrollably and threaten the lives of U.S. troops.

Among other stocks, shares of casino operator Caesars Entertainment Corp jumped 12.9% after rival Eldorado Resorts Inc said it agreed to merge with company in a $17.3 billion deal. Shares of Eldorado fell 5.2%.

United Technologies Corp gained 0.7% after Cowen & Co upgraded shares of the building and aerospace supplier to "outperform" from "market perform".

(Reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal and Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva)

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