European stocks are expected to open sharply lower Wednesday and U.S. equity futures suggest another day of red on Wall Street as investors continue to pause purchases in the global market really amid a pullback in oil prices and concern over the fate of Republican tax reforms.
Germany's DAX index will likely lead decliners at the opening bell, according to financial bookmakers IG, with a 0.5% slide as investors price in a stronger euro and asses its impact on exports. The single currency gained 1.1% against the U.S. dollar yesterday and traded a 2.5 week high of 1.1805 in Asia overnight after stronger-than-expected German and Eurozone GDP data boosted bets of a faster policy retreat from the European Central Bank.
Britain's FTSE 100 is also looking at a 0.32% slump as benchmark heavyweights are hit by both falling oil prices and a stronger pound sterling, which was marked 0.05% higher against the dollar at 1.3169 ahead of a key reading on wages and employment for the month of September from the Office for National Statistics.
Wall Street futures are also pricing in a notable decline at the start of trading, with Dow Jones Industrial Average mini futures falling 63 points and S&P 500 minis suggesting an 8.75 point, or 0.34%, retreat.
Energy prices are once again expected to keep markets cool after another hammering for global oil markets in Asia overnight. Brent crude futures for January delivery, the global benchmark for prices, were seen 1.22% lower at $61.45 while WTI futures contracts for the same month, which guide U.S. prices, were marked 0.85% lower at $55.25 per barrel.
The price weakness appears linked to several factors, including slowing growth in China -- the world's biggest energy consumer -- and new projections from the International Energy Agency which trimmed demand forecasts for the whole of 2018 and point to 600,000 barrels of oversupply in the first three months of next year.
The oil markets moves of late have clipped around 5% from global prices since hitting a two-and-a-half year peak last week and put pressure on energy complex shares in markets all over the world.
Asia stocks were similarly affected overnight, with the MSCI Asia ex-Japan index falling 0.1% into the start of European trading and Japan's Nikkei 225 slumping 1.6% -- the biggest decline since April -- into the close after weaker-than-expected third quarter GDP figures.
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