Morning Wire — US Stock-Index Futures Down

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US index futures are down this morning on a pile of discouraging news from Europe and Asia. This week’s report on new US unemployment benefits claims might pick up the mood if the numbers are really good, but that’s not expected to happen. In Europe, the eurozone’s purchasing managers’ index fell from 49.3 in February to a 3-month low of 48.7 in March and the eurozone has technically fallen into a second recession. In Asia, China’s purchasing managers’ index also fell from 49.6 in February to 48.1 in March, order backlogs are dropping, and domestic demand is soft.

At about 8:00 a.m. ET, Germany’s DAX is down -1.4% at 6,971.99 and France’s CAC 40 is down -1.60%, at 3,470.97. In London, the FTSE 100 is down -0.93%, at 5,837.33.

In Asia, the Hang Seng index closed up 0.22%, at 20,901.60. The Nikkei closed up 0.40% at 10,127.10 and the Shanghai exchange closed down -0.10%, at 2,375.77.

Dow futures are down -0.54%, at 12,995.00. The Nasdaq is down -0.55%, at 2,725.50 and the S&P is down -0.66%, at 1,388.30.

In the currency markets, the US dollar is stronger against the euro and the British pound, but weaker versus the Japanese yen. The US dollar index is up 0.19% at 79.807.

In commodities, WTI and Brent crude are lower this morning, with WTI down -1.17% at $106.02/barrel and Brent is down -0.60% at $123.45/barrel. Gold is down -0.97% this morning, at $1,634.30/ounce.

Paul Ausick