Morning Wire — US Stock-Index Futures Down Slightly

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US index futures are slightly lower this morning, returning to their early morning behavior before yesterday. Observers now think that the Greek debt swap deal will get done just in time to meet a date that would give Greece the cash in time to make its March debt payments. New Greek austerity measures proposed yesterday got no traction. Elsewhere in Europe, the Bank of England has approved another £50 billion in bond purchases to help ease the euro threat to the UK’s weak economic recovery. In Asia, higher-than-expected inflation in China led to a mixed finish today.

At about 8:15 a.m. ET, Germany’s DAX is up 0.70% at 6,796.14 and France’s CAC 40 is up 0.56%, at 3,429.21. In London, the FTSE 100 is up 0.27%, at 5,892.04.

In Asia, the Hang Seng index closed down -0.04%, at 21,010.00 and the Nikkei index closed down -0.15%, at 9,002.24. The Shanghai exchange closed up 0.09%, at 2,349.59.

Dow futures are down -0.05%, at 12,836.00. The Nasdaq 100 is down -0.11%, at 2,542.00 and the S&P is down -0.13%, at 1,345.20.

In the currency markets, the US dollar is weaker against the British pound and the euro, and stronger versus the Japanese yen. The US dollar index is down -0.227% at 77.244.

In commodities, WTI and Brent crude are higher this morning, with WTI up 0.76% at $99.46/barrel and Brent is up 0.49% at $117.77/barrel. Gold is up 0.16% this morning, at $1,734.10/ounce.

Paul Ausick