US index futures are lower this morning as investors wait to hear the data on US housing starts in February. A consensus estimate calls for an annualized adjusted figure of 706,000, up from 699,000 in January. In Europe, markets are trading lower commodities in general, and mining stocks in particular, move lower on forecasts of a slowdown in China. In Asia, the Chinese government has raised gasoline prices for the second time this year, pushing down stock prices on the mainland and in Hong Kong. Japan’s equity markets were closed today.
At about 8:15 a.m. ET, Germany’s DAX is down -1.40% at 7,054.10 and France’s CAC 40 is down -1.34%, at 3,529.80. In London, the FTSE 100 is down -1.11%, at 5,894.65.
In Asia, the Hang Seng index closed down -1.08%, at 20,888.20 and the Shanghai exchange closed down -1.38%, at 2,376.84.
Dow futures are down -0.49%, at 13,102.00. The Nasdaq is down -0.50%, at 2,714.00 and the S&P is down -0.62%, at 1,395.30.
In the currency markets, the US dollar is stronger against the euro, the Japanese yen, and the British pound. The US dollar index is up 0.47% at 79.843.
In commodities, WTI and Brent crude are lower this morning, with WTI down -0.89% at $107.13/barrel and Brent is down -1.34% at $124.03/barrel. Gold is down -1.37% this morning, at $1,644.40/ounce.