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Growth worries, tech drop drag down stock futures

Posted by: Admin | Posted on: June 15th, 2017 | 0 Comments

U.S. stock index futures fell on Thursday, pulled lower by technology stocks, while investors fretted about the Federal Reserve’s outlook on monetary policy amid weak economic data.

Apart from raising interest rates and forecasting one more hike for 2017 on Wednesday, the Fed laid out its first clear outline to start trimming its $4.2 trillion balance sheet “relatively soon”.

While the rate hike was widely expected, a clutch of weak economic data, including Wednesday’s poor inflation numbers, raised questions whether the U.S. economy was strong enough to withstand further tightening. Policymakers, however, viewed the soft data as transitory.

A Washington Post report that U.S. President Donald Trump was being investigated for possible obstruction of justice added to the jitters.

Nasdaq futures were worst hit on Thursday as a selloff in technology stocks threatened to resume amid valuations worries.

Technology heavyweights such as Apple (AAPL.O), Microsoft (MSFT.O) and Alphabet (GOOGL.O), which were hit hard by the selloff earlier in the week, were in the red in premarket trading on Thursday.

Chip stocks, including Nvidia (NVDA.O), Micron Tech (MU.O) and Advanced Micro Devices (AMD.O), were down more than 2.5 percent each.

Also lower were shares of big banks including Bank of America (BAC.N), Citigroup (C.N), Goldman Sachs (GS.N) and Morgan Stanley (MS.N).

Investors are likely to keep a sharp eye on a string of economic data on Thursday to get a deeper insight into the health of the U.S. economy.

Top tier data due at 8:30 a.m. ET (1230 GMT) include reports on industrial production, manufacturing output and weekly jobless claims.

Brent crude LCOc1 hit six-week lows as OPEC failed to curb oversupply. [O/R]

(Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva)

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