Wall Street in focus after China fixes yuan at stronger-than-expected …


U.S. stock index futures were higher Monday morning, after China’s central bank set the official midpoint reference for the yuan at a stronger-than-expected level.

At around 02:30 a.m. ET, Dow futures rose 46 points, indicating a positive open of more than 55 points. Futures on the S&P and Nasdaq were both slightly higher.

Market focus is largely attuned to simmering trade tensions between the world’s two largest economies.

On Monday, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) set its daily midpoint for yuan trading — which determines the limits for its onshore movement — at 7.0211 per dollar. That was weaker than Friday’s session, but beat market expectations.

Market participants have been monitoring the dollar/yuan exchange rate closely following an escalation in trade tensions between Washington and Beijing.

The yuan depreciated past the 7-per-dollar level last week for the first time since the global financial crisis in 2008. The move prompted the U.S. Treasury Department to designate China as a currency manipulator.

A weaker currency makes a country’s exports cheaper and President Donald Trump’s administration has consistently complained that a cheaper yuan would give China a trade advantage.

The U.S. president said Friday that the U.S. would continue to hold trade talks with Beijing, but that Washington was not prepared to make a deal for now.

On the data front, the Federal Budget for July is expected to be published at around 2:00 p.m. ET.

In corporate news, Sysco and Barrick Gold are both expected to publish quarterly earnings before the opening bell.

Bloom Energy and Tencent Music will report their latest results after market close.

— CNBC’s Saheli Roy Choudhury contributed to this report.


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