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Dow futures drop triple digits on weak China manufacturing data

U.S. stock-index futures declined early Tuesday, as the yen continued to strengthen against the U.S. dollar and an indicator of China's manufacturing sector disappointed.


NYSE Trader
Andrew Burton | Getty Images
NYSE Trader

Dow futures fell more than 100 points, while S&P and Nasdaq futures dropped 14 points and 30 points, respectively.

The China Caixin manufacturing PMI fell to 49.4 last month from March's 49.7, shrinking for a 14th consecutive month and coming in below a Reuters forecast for 49.9. Levels below 50 indicate contraction.

Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund warned in a media briefing of a bumpy economic rebalancing in China and said the "larger spillovers" from its financial markets were a risk to economic growth in Asia.

The week is the last busy one for U.S. first-quarter earnings. On Tuesday, there were numbers from Pfizer, Estee Lauder,and Sprint.

The day will be light on U.S. data, with auto and truck sales for April the only report of note.

Loretta Mester, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, will speak on a panel at the annual Financial Markets Conference in Florida on Tuesday. Dennis Lockhart, the Fed president of Atlanta, will give the welcoming address.

There will also be the latest data on weekly crude oil inventories from the American Petroleum Institute. This may pressure oil prices after reports of rising crude production among OPEC countries.

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The slide in the U.S. dollar accelerated on Tuesday, falling below 106 against the Japanese yen while the euro was near $1.156. The dollar index against a basket of currencies is at its lowest since January 2015.

"For the last six months, U.S. real yields have been falling relative to those in the euro zone and (even more sharply) in Japan. Those real yield moves have been undermining the dollar and as the DXY dollar index broke lower, all the way to levels last seen before the ECB cut rates," Kit Juckes, strategist at Societe Generale, said in a note on Tuesday.

"We are going to overshoot from here, and dollar bulls need to see a turnaround in real yields before buying. Shorting EUR/USD at 1.1850 with a stop above 1.20, and buying USD/JPY at 101.50, say with a stop just below 100, may appeal," he later added.

The U.S. Federal Reserve could raise rates twice this year but it depends on the underlying strength of the economy, Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart told reporters in a Reuters article Tuesday. He had no firm view on raising rates in June but added there is currently not enough evidence on U.S. economic growth and firming inflation.

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