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US: Stock futures fall after Trump immigration controversy

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[NEW YORK] US equity index futures opened down about 0.2 per cent on Sunday after US President Donald Trump on Friday introduced immigration curbs that sparked a backlash in the United States and abroad.

Mr Trump put a 120-day hold on allowing refugees into the country, an indefinite ban on refugees from Syria and a 90-day bar on citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

Several countries including long-standing American allies criticised the measures as discriminatory and divisive.

"Stocks may react negatively for two reasons," said David Kotok, chairman and chief investment officer of Cumberland Advisors.

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"First the market has gone up strongly since the election. So it is ripe for a correction and is extended in valuation metrics."

"For these current market prices to be justified, the Trump agenda must unfold perfectly," Mr Kotok said.

"But the reverse is under way and fragmented policy combined with obfuscation is now a growing detriment to growth acceleration."

S&P e-mini futures ESv1 were last down 0.3 per cent as electronic trading kicked off for the week at 6pm EST (2300 GMT). Dow and Nasdaq futures were also down about 0.2 per cent each.

The weakness in stocks came as safe-haven Treasuries opened fractionally stronger. US 10-year Treasury futures were last up about 0.01 per cent on Sunday evening in electronic trading.

The US dollar weakened slightly against the euro and yen, and the US Dollar Index was lower by about 0.1 per cent.

Oil prices also slipped at the open, with US crude oil futures trading 0.4 per cent lower.

REUTERS

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