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U.S. Stocks May Open Lower On Lingering Trade War Worries

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Reflecting lingering concerns about the U.S.-China trade war, stocks may move to the downside in early trading on Monday. The major index futures are currently pointing to a lower open for the markets, with the Dow futures down by 158 points.

Worries about a prolonged trade war between the U.S. and China may weigh on the markets after President Donald Trump suggested he feels no sense of urgency to resolve the dispute.

Trump told reporters last Friday that he is "not ready to make a deal" with China and suggested the U.S. could skip the next round of trade talks in September.

"We'll see whether or not we keep our meeting in September. If we do, that's fine. If we don't, that's fine," Trump said. "But it's time that somebody does what we're doing."

Trump denied that Americans are paying the price for his trade war with China, arguing that Beijing's efforts to depress their currency prove that the Chinese are "paying for it."

"I want them to do well. But as of this moment, they're having the worst year that they've had in many, many years — in decades," he added. "And really, we're just bringing the system back into order."

Concerns about the impact of increasingly violent protests in Hong Kong may also weigh on the markets, with the Hong Kong International Airport canceling all departing flights due to the disruption caused by protesters.

The pro-democracy demonstrations in Hong Kong have intensified following allegations of unnecessary police violence on Sunday.

Overall trading activity may be somewhat subdued, however, as a lack of major U.S. economic data may keep some traders on the sidelines.

Several key economic reports are scheduled to be released in the coming days, including an avalanche of data on Thursday.

After coming under pressure in morning trading on Friday, stocks staged a recovery attempt in the afternoon but still ended the day notably lower. With the pullback on the day, the major averages partly offset the strong gains posted on Thursday.

While the Dow briefly peeked above the unchanged line, the blue chip index ended the day down 90.75 points or 0.3 percent at 26,287.44. The Nasdaq slumped 80.02 points or 1 percent to 7,959.14 and the S&P 500 slid 19.44 points or 0.7 percent to 2,918.65.

The major averages regained some ground following the sell-off seen last Monday but still closed lower for the week. The Dow fell by 0.7 percent, while the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 dropped by 0.6 percent and 0.5 percent, respectively.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance on Monday, with several major markets closed for holidays. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index fell by 0.4 percent, while South Korea's Kospi edged up by 0.2 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets have all moved modestly lower on the day. While the German DAX Index has slipped by 0.2 percent, the French CAC 40 Index and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index are both down by 0.4 percent.

In commodities trading, crude oil futures are dipping $0.37 to $54.13 a barrel after soaring $1.96 to $54.50 a barrel last Friday. Meanwhile, an ounce of gold is trading at $1,516.20, up $7.70 from the previous session's close of $1,508.50. On Friday, gold dipped $1.

On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 105.15 yen compared to the 105.69 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Friday. Against the euro, the dollar is valued at $1.204 compared to last Friday's $1.200.

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