US stocks set to slide as charges against Huawei ignite fears that China trade talks will fail

Global growth concerns already had investors on edge this week. The US Justice Department’s move Monday to charge the Chinese tech giant Huawei with fraud and intellectual-property theft is not helping.

The Huawei charges have been unveiled on the eve of key talks between US and Chinese negotiators expected to take place Wednesday and Thursday in Washington.

Asian markets closed Tuesday with slight declines, while European stocks were mixed and US futures were set to open lower.

“The timing of the move is important,” said Jasper Lawler, the head of research at London Capital Group. “With trade due to start tomorrow, this is a fairly hostile message that the US is sending out. The overriding fear is that this move will negatively impact trade talks, making a deal even less likely.”

Read more:
US calls Huawei and CFO Meng Wanzhou national security threats, indicts company and exec on charges of fraud and IP theft

Here’s the roundup as of 8:50 a.m. in London (3:50 a.m. ET):

  • US futures for the S&P 500, the Nasdaq, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average were all down at least 0.4%.
  • Europe’s Euro Stoxx 50 was flat, losing 0.02%; Germany’s DAX was down 0.3%; and the UK’s FTSE 100 was up 0.6%.
  • Asian markets closed slightly lower. The Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.1%, and the Hang Seng fell 0.2%.

The US on Monday charged Huawei, its CFO, and two affiliates with bank and wire fraud in a crackdown on the company, which it accuses of tricking a global bank into doing sanctions-violating business with Iran and of stealing trade secrets from T-Mobile.

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