Stock futures dip as Trump's comments spark trade talk uncertainty

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[May 23, 2018]  By Medha Singh

(Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were lower on Wednesday on fresh uncertainty over U.S.-China trade talks and ahead of a Federal Reserve report that would be watched for cues on pace of future interest rate hikes.

Traders work at the Citadel Securities post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., July 18, 2016. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

Earlier optimism of trade talks progressing reversed on Tuesday after U.S. President Donald Trump said he was not pleased with recent trade talks between the United States and China and also raised doubts about the upcoming North Korea summit.

The comments tempered expectations that the United States and China would be able to avert a damaging global trade war.

The Federal Reserve's May meeting minutes, scheduled for release at 2:00 p.m. ET, will be scrutinized for indications of how many rate hikes are likely this year.

The U.S. central bank lifted borrowing costs in March and policymakers are split between those who expect another two rate hikes this year and those who forecast three, in the backdrop of low unemployment, moderate growth and rising inflation.

At 7:28 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis <1YMc1> were down 182 points, or 0.73 percent. S&P 500 e-minis <ESc1> were down 16.5 points, or 0.61 percent and Nasdaq 100 e-minis <NQc1> were down 64.5 points, or 0.93 percent.

U.S. 10-year Treasury yields <US10YT=RR> fell to eight-day lows as investors shunned risk. Twenty-eight of the 30 Dow Jones Industrial Average <.DJI> components were trading premarket and all indicated a lower open.

Target <TGT.N> sank 5.6 percent after the retailer's quarterly profit rose less than expected as increasing investments dented margins.

Tiffany <TIF.N> jumped 11.7 percent after the jeweler's quarterly results blew past estimates and the company also raised its full-year profit forecast and announced a $1 billion share buyback program.

On the economic front, new home sales numbers for April are expected to fall to 679,000 units, from 694,000 units the month before. The data is expected at 10 a.m. ET.

(Reporting by Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)

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