US index futures are lower this morning as investors wait to hear news on both consumer confidence and house prices. The S&P Case-Schiller housing price index is due at 9 a.m. ET, and the Conference Board releases its consumer confidence index at 10 a.m. A consumer survey in Germany is showing some new holes in consumer confidence (our coverage here). In Asia, Chinese industrial companies reported that profits fell -5.2% in the first two months of the year, pulling down Shanghai stocks. The Japanese index closed at its highest level in more than a year following yesterday’s remarks by US Fed chief Ben Bernanke.
At about 8:15 a.m. ET, Germany’s DAX is up 0.48% at 7,113.44 and France’s CAC 40 is down -0.05%, at 3,500.32. In London, the FTSE 100 is down -0.09%, at 5,897.61.
In Asia, the Hang Seng index closed up 1.83%, at 21,046.90. The Nikkei closed up 2.36% at 10,255.20 and the Shanghai exchange closed down -0.15%, at 2,347.18.
Dow futures are down -0.11%, at 13,186.00. The Nasdaq is down -0.13%, at 2,773.50 and the S&P is down -0.17%, at 1,412.70.
In the currency markets, the US dollar is stronger against the euro, the British pound, and the Japanese yen. The US dollar index is up 0.05% at 79.020.
In commodities, WTI and Brent crude are lower this morning, with WTI down -0.12% at $106.90/barrel and Brent is down -0.29% at $125.28/barrel. Gold is up 0.21% this morning, at $1,691.70/ounce.