GettyImages-Stock market
Traders and financial professionals work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) at the opening bell, April 24, 2019, in New York City. Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Lower open likely for the U.S markets on Wednesday after the U.S. stock index futures showed a negative open in the morning.

At 5:45 a.m. ET, Dow futures showed a slightly lower open of about 30 points with no major change seen on futures at the S&P and Nasdaq.

The downcast U.S. stock index futures indicated a third day of losses. The U.S trade war with China is looking to prolong amidst new tariffs declared by President Trump and reports of China dithering on many agreed points.

According to a Reuters report, what forced Trump was China’s backtracking on many aspects of the negotiated points. That became evident from the diplomatic cables sent by China on Friday.

The new report has dashed hopes that Chinese Vice Premier Liu‘s visit on May 9 will put the trade talks back on track.

The latest China data released on Wednesday showed China’s trade surplus with the U.S. grew to $21.01 billion in April compared to March’s $20.5 billion.

In corporate earnings, Honda Motor, Toyota Motors, The New York Times, Wendy’s, and Fox Corp. will be reporting their earnings.

At the data front, the upcoming weekly mortgage claims that will give investors a peek into the strength of the U.S. housing market.

Oil prices up

Meanwhile, oil prices surged Wednesday as U.S. sanctions choked supply from crude exporters Iran and Venezuela in addition to the OPEC cut in production.

Amidst the tightening supply, China’s crude imports jumped to a record high in April. The U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures soared 56 points above their last settlement to hit $61.96 per barrel at 0658 GMT.

Brent crude oil futures jumped up 43 cents at $70.31 per barrel, above their last close.

“The tight and price-supportive fundamental outlook has not gone away,” said Ole Hansen, head of the commodity strategy at Denmark’s Saxo Bank.

The new data from the Chinese General Administration of Customs on Wednesday showed that China’s crude oil imports in April rose to a record 10.64 million barrels per day. That is up by 11 percent from April 2018 for the world’s largest oil importer.

Asia stocks mixed

Asia stocks plunged Wednesday in the aftermath of the investor anxieties on the developments in the U.S.-China trade negotiations.

Mainland Chinese shares traded lower on Wednesday, with the Shanghai Composite down 1.12 percent, the Shenzhen component down 0.96 percent while the Shenzhen composite tumbled 0.649 percent.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index declined 1.2 percent as of the final hour of trading. Japan’s Nikkei 225 dropped 1.46 percent while the Topix index fell 1.72 percent. South Korea’s Kospi finished the trading day lower by 0.41 percent of Australia’s ASX 200 shed 0.42 percent as most sectors slipped.

Mixed trends prevailed in European stocks as well. The pan-European STOXX 600 index traded thinly at around the flat line in the morning.

Gold at a week’s high

Gold prices surged to a week’s high on Wednesday over trade tensions between the U.S. and China. The likely impact on global growth pushed the attention of investors towards safe-haven assets like gold.

Spot gold was up 0.2 percent at $1,287 per ounce, as of 0715 GMT, after hitting their highest since April 26 at $1,287.94.

The U.S. gold futures edged 0.2 percent higher to $1,288.30 an ounce.

“Gold is being supported by risk-aversion buying at the moment. But, there is no change in the underlying momentum in overall sentiment, which seems to be soft,” commented Jeffrey Halley, Oanda’s senior market analyst for the Asia Pacific.