Futures down after Saudi attacks spark rush for safety
U.S. stock index futures slipped on Monday after the weekend attack on Saudi Arabian oil facilities knocked out 5% of the world’s supply, sparking concerns over global economic growth and heightening tensions in the Middle East.
Oil prices soared as much as 20% after the attack on the world’s biggest oil exporter, before easing off their peaks as U.S. President Donald Trump authorized the use of the country’s emergency oil stockpile to ensure stable supplies.
Shares of energy companies soared, with the S&P 500-listed Devon Energy Corp, Marathon Oil Corp, Concho Resources Inc and Apache Corp up between 8.3% and 10.7%. Oil majors Exxon Mobil Corp and Chevron Corp advanced more than 3%.
In contrast, shares of airlines and cruise-liners dropped in anticipation of higher fuel costs. American Airlines Group Inc , Delta Air Lines Inc and Carnival Corp fell about 3%.
Adding to the downbeat mood, data from China showed growth in industrial production in the world’s second-largest economy was at its weakest 17-1/2 years in August.
Investors’ flight to safety lifted prices of gold, Japanese yen and sent the U.S. benchmark 10-year Treasury bond yields down sharply from their multi-week highs.
Interest-rate sensitive bank such as Bank of America Corp , Citigroup Inc, JPMorgan Chase & Co, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley were down between 1.2% and 2%.
This week’s centerpiece is the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy decision on Wednesday where traders see a near 80% chance of a quarter-point interest rate cut, the second reduction in rates this year.
Hints on whether the central bank will keep easing its monetary policy will be crucial in determining how far Wall Street’s strong rally will last.
Cooling trade tensions between the United States and China last week has brought the benchmark S&P 500 less than 1% below its record high.
At 7:04 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were down 113 points, or 0.42%. S&P 500 e-minis were down 12.5 points, or 0.42% and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 50 points, or 0.63%.
Among other movers, General Motors Co fell 2.9% after the United Auto Workers (UAW) went on strike just after midnight Sunday and about 48,000 hourly workers at its facilities are headed for the picket lines in the morning. (Reporting by Medha Singh in Bengaluru Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)