US futures fall amid worries over Middle East tensions and weak China data



U.S. stock futures were lower on the final trading day of the week, with investors monitoring attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman and reacting to economic data out of China.

As of 3:20 a.m. ET, Dow futures were 19 points lower, indicating a slightly lower open of 25 points. S&P 500 futures were barely changed while Nasdaq futures were in negative territory.

Market players are closely watching geopolitical events, with attacks on oil tankers in the Middle East giving oil prices a boost. Brent crude climbed 0.4% to $61.57 a barrel, while WTI crude was up 0.1% at $52.33.

The Trump administration on Thursday placed the blame squarely on Iran, with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo saying Tehran “wants our successful maximum pressure campaign lifted.”

Iran hit back at Washington, denying Pompeo’s claims. Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Twitter that the U.S. “immediately jumped to make allegations against Iran—/wo a shred of factual or circumstantial evidence.”

Meanwhile, China’s industrial output growth slowed to a more than 17-year low of 5% in May, well below expectations, in the latest sign of weakening demand in the world’s second-largest economy as the United States ramps up trade pressure.

U.S. data also looms, with traders looking out for upcoming retail sales and industrial production data for May, as well as the consumer sentiment index for June.

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