➤ China to lower certain tariffs from Jan. 1, 2020.
➤ NMC Health launches independent review of financials.
➤ Chinese state-backed fund to reduce stake in 3 tech companies.
➤ Kuwait, Saudi Arabia close in on resuming oil production at damaged facilities.
Wall Street looked set to open near record highs set last week as China said it plans to begin 2020 by cutting import duties on 859 products.
China said it will lower import tariff rates for frozen pork, high-tech products and other goods beginning Jan. 1, 2020, while it aims to complete a phase one trade deal with the U.S. The tariff reduction could be a way for China to make good on its commitment to buy more U.S. goods without breaking international rules on managed trade, said MUFG Bank currency analysts, Lee Hardman and Fritz Louw.
The U.S. government averted a shutdown after President Donald Trump signed a $1.4 trillion spending bill into law before midnight Dec. 20.
Futures on the S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 edged 0.1% higher each as of 6 a.m. ET.
In Europe, the FTSE 100 gained 0.3% as NMC Health PLC's stock surged 24% following the launch of an independent review of its financial statements after the matter reportedly triggered a selloff in its shares last week.
Germany's DAX index fell 0.2%. Bayer AG's shares gained 3.4% as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency backed the pharmaceutical company's appeal against a $25 million verdict over its weedkiller Roundup. Elsewhere, France's CAC 40 and the Stoxx Europe 600 were little changed.
The Shanghai SE Composite lost 1.4% amid reports that state-backed National Integrated Circuit Industry Investment Fund plans to reduce its stake in three technology companies. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index slipped 0.1% and Japan's Nikkei 225 was broadly flat.
The Dollar Spot Index, which measures the currency against a basket of developed-market peers, was little changed at 97.6490.
Sterling fell less than 0.1% to $1.2991, the euro appreciated a similar amount to $1.1088, and the Japanese yen was little changed at 109.40.
In debt markets, the 10-year Treasury yield lost 2 basis points to 1.90%. German bund yields fell 1 basis point to negative 0.26%.
Among commodities, Brent crude oil dipped 0.1% to $66.07 per barrel on the ICE Futures Exchange amid reports that Kuwait and Saudi Arabia are closing in on a deal to resume oil production at the Khafji and Wafra oilfields.
Gold gained 0.4% to $1,487.10 per ounce.
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The day ahead:
8:30 a.m. ET — U.S. durable goods orders (Econoday consensus: 1.5% monthly)
8:30 a.m. ET — Canada monthly GDP (Econoday consensus: 0%)
8:30 a.m. ET — Chicago Fed national activity index
10 a.m. ET — U.S. new home sales (Econoday consensus: 735,000)
11 a.m. ET — U.S. survey of business uncertainty