Wednesday December 6th


US futures point to lower open as market weakness worldwide weighs; data in focus

U.S. stocks futures pointed to a negative open on Wednesday, as investors awaited fresh data while taking note of the declines seen in markets overseas. Dow Jones industrial average futures fell 42 points, while S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures declined 2.75 points and 20.25 points, respectively. In the previous session, U.S. equities finished in the red as the broader market failed to be boosted by an uptick in tech stocks. The S&P 500 also posted its first three-day losing streak since August. Consequently, the negativity seen on Wall Street weighed on stocks in Asia, which finished trade lower Wednesday. Europe stocks, meanwhile, were posting losses in early trade too. Japan's Nikkei 225 dropped 445.34 points, or 1.97 percent, to 22,177.04. The Topix index declined 25.55 points, or 1.43 percent, to 1,765.42. Reuters reported that the Nikkei had its biggest percentage drop since late march. Across the Korean Strait, the Kospi slipped 35.75 points, or 1.42 percent, to 2,474.37. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index fell 620.74 points, or 2.15 percent, to 28,222.06. Chinese mainland markets reversed some of their losses to close mixed. The Shanghai composite fell 9.54 points, or 0.29 percent, to 3,294.12 and the Shenzhen composite advanced 12.66 points, or 0.67 percent, to 1,879.65. Looking to today's session, on the data front, the ADP National Employment report showed private payrolls grew by 190,000 jobs last month, more than expected. Productivity and costs data are due at 8:30 a.m. ET. The figures come two days before the U.S. nonfarm payrolls data for November, due out on Friday. Aside from tax reform and ongoing rumblings surrounding the current U.S. administration's relationship with Russia, other news set to shake up sentiment Wednesday concerns Jerusalem. President Donald Trump is set to announce that the U.S. will recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, with senior administration officials saying the embassy will be moved there, yet noting that this could take "years". The move is controversial in the Middle East and has been criticized by Turkey, among others. Elsewhere, Bitcoin broke above the $12,000 mark during Wednesday morning in Asia for the first time, as the cryptocurrency continues its march upwards.  In commodities, oil prices fell Wednesday after news emerged that refined product inventories in the U.S. had increased. Brent crude futures were down 63 cents at $62.23 a barrel by 8:40 a.m. ET, after reaching a session high of $62.93, while U.S. crude futures dropped 74 cents to $56.88. Gold prices held above a two-month low on Wednesday, as a softer dollar stopped further losses on concerns over the progress of a U.S. tax reform plan and a potential government shutdown. Spot gold inched up 0.05 percent to $1,266.35 an ounce by 8:07 a.m. ET after it hit its lowest since Oct. 6 in the previous session. U.S. gold futures were up 0.35 percent at $1,269.20 an ounce.