US stock index futures fell on Monday as protests in major Chinese cities against the country’s strict zero-COVID policy re-ignited concerns about economic growth, while Apple shares slipped on a report of disruption in China production.
As China’s strict policy aimed at stamping out COVID-19 with lockdowns and quarantines has become a lightning rod for frustrations, protests erupted over the weekend as a show of solidarity with rare displays of defiance in China.
Although there were no signs of new protests in Beijing or Shanghai on Monday, the curbs so far have led to concerns over China’s economic growth and its trickle-down effect on global companies.
One sign of that was Apple Inc, which fell 1.8% premarket after a media report said the company will see a production shortfall of nearly 6 million iPhone Pro units due to unrest at Foxconn’s Zhengzhou plant.
Other mega-cap technology and growth stocks like Microsoft Corp, Meta Platforms Inc, Nvidia Crop , Netflix Inc and Tesla Inc fell between 0.7% and 2.2%.
At 6:24 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were down 184 points, or 0.54%, S&P 500 e-minis were down 31.75 points, or 0.79%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 105.25 points, or 0.89%.
US-listed shares of Chinese companies like Bilibili Inc , Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, JD.com Inc, Baidu Inc and Nio Inc lost between 0.4% and 1.7%.
“The attention to holiday shoppers continues today, albeit online, as Cyber Monday starts. However, street protests against zero-COVID policy in China underline a harsher reality that is undermining market sentiment, at least for now,” said Rabobank analysts in a note.
On Friday, the Nasdaq closed lower, weighed down by Apple in a subdued holiday-shortened trading session for Wall Street, as investors watched Black Friday sales and COVID-19 cases in China.