US index futures are down this morning as investors await the weekly report on new US unemployment benefits claims. Economists polled by Bloomberg are expecting a slight rise, from an adjusted annual figure of 348,000 last week to 350,000 this week. MarketWatch’s poll of economists indicated that a drop to 345,000 new claims is due. In Europe, strikes in Spain have brought the focus once again on the shaky Eurozone economies (more coverage here). In Asia, weak financial reports from several Chinese companies have pushed equity prices down.
At about 8:00 a.m. ET, Germany’s DAX is down -1.05% at 6,925.38 and France’s CAC 40 is down -0.90% at 3,399.39. In London, the FTSE 100 is down -0.71%, at 5,767.92.
In Asia, the Hang Seng index closed down -1.32%, at 20,609.40. The Nikkei closed down -0.67% at 10,114.80 and the Shanghai exchange closed down -1.43%, at 2,252.16.
Dow futures are down -0.22%, at 13,024.00. The Nasdaq is down -0.23%, at 2,761.50 and the S&P is down -0.29%, at 1,396.20.
In the currency markets, the US dollar is stronger against the euro, flat against the British pound, and weaker versus the Japanese yen. The US dollar index is up 0.10% at 79.207.
In commodities, WTI and Brent crude are lower this morning, with WTI down -0.45% at $104.94/barrel and Brent is down -0.16% at $123.96/barrel. Gold is down -0.11% this morning, at $1,658.60/ounce.