Morning Wire — US Stock-Index Futures Falling

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US index futures are lower this morning following an announcement from China that the country’s GDP growth target for 2012 is 7.5%, its lowest GDP growth goal since 2004. Chinese officials also plan to keep the country’s inflation at 4% this year, which is the same target as last year. US factory order data and the ISM’s non-manufacturing index are due this morning. In Europe, PMI data indicated a contraction in Europe’s economic activity. Contraction in Spain and Italy was particularly notable. Indexes are down in both Europe and Asia this morning, pushing the US futures down as well.

At about 8:15 a.m. ET, Germany’s DAX is down -0.96% at 6,854.78 and France’s CAC 40 is down -0.39%, at 3,487.65. In London, the FTSE 100 is down -0.31%, at 5,892.88.

In Asia, the Hang Seng index closed down -1.38%, at 21,265.30 and the Nikkei index closed down -0.80%, at 9,698.59. The Shanghai exchange closed down -0.64%, at 2,445.00.

Dow futures are down -0.26%, at 12,934.00. The Nasdaq is down -0.31%, at 2,635.25 and the S&P is down -0.34%, at 1,364.20.

In the currency markets, the US dollar is stronger against the euro, the British pound, and the Japanese yen. The US dollar index is down -0.04% at 79.373.

In commodities, WTI and Brent crude are mixed this morning, with WTI down -0.07% at $106.62/barrel and Brent is up 0.40% at $124.14/barrel. Gold is down -0.39% this morning, at $1,703.10/ounce.

Paul Ausick