European and U.S. equity futures were trading firmly lower Monday as investors brace for a bumpy few sessions ahead of the Thanksgiving break amid stalled tax reform in the United States and the prospect of new elections in Germany.
Britain's FTSE 100 is slated to open around 20 points, or 0.2% lower at the start of trading, according to financial bookmakers IG, with gains again linked to the volatility of the pound, which topped the 1.32 mark in overnight Asia trading. Germany's DAX index is looking at a 100 point, or 0.75% slump at the opening bell, while bourses around the region are likely to experience similar declines.
The euro slipped heavily against the U.S. dollar in Asia trading and was marked at 1.1754 at the start of the European session. The weakness is linked, in part, to the breakdown of coalition government talks in Germany, where the pro-business Free Democrats walked out over the weekend, leaving Chancellor Angela Merkel with the likely option of forming a minority government with the Green party or calling fresh elections in the new year.
On Wall Street, the three major benchmarks are all expected to open lower again Monday, extending Friday's notable declines and adding further pressure to the stalled global market rally as competing tax reform proposals in the House and the Senate give rise to concern that a compromise may not be found prior to the Christmas break.
Dow Jones Industrial Average mini futures were seen 48 points, or 0.21% lower in overnight trading while mini futures for the broader S&P 500 were marked 6.5 points, or 0.25% into the red.
The equity moves followed a weaker session in Asia where the Nikkei 225 gave back around 0.6% on the first session of the week to close at 22,261.7 points and the broadest measure of regional share prices, the MSCI Asia ex-Japan index, slipped 0.05% thanks in part to weakness in Chinese stocks linked to regulatory changes in the asset management industry.
Global oil prices, however, were largely inert in overnight and into the European session as investors hold positions into next weeks OPEC meeting in Vienna, where members will try to come to an agreement on production cuts that have taken 1.8 million barrels per day from the market and are expected to expire in March.
Brent crude futures contracts for January delivery, the global benchmark, were seen 10 cents lower at $63.58 while West Texas Intermediate crude for the same month, which is more tightly linked to U.S. prices, were marked 10 cents higher at $56.72 per barrel.
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