European stocks are bracing for significant declines at the start of trading Wednesday following a global market sell off that pared more than 200 points from the Dow Jones Industrial Average and pushed stocks in Asia to their biggest single-day decline in two weeks.
Britain's FTSE 100 is likely to open around 50 points lower at the bell, according to financial bookmakers IG, with and 85-point decline priced in for the DAX performance index and a 24 point slump expected for the CAC-40 in Paris.
The region-wide MSCI Asia ex-Japan index was marked 1.3% lower by 06:45 GMT, the biggest single-day decline in two weeks, while Japan's Nikkei 225 dipped more than 2% to close at 19,041.38 points.
The losses followed steep declines on Wall Street Tuesday as investors saw the U.S. dollar test 2017 lows on global foreign exchange markets and grew increasingly concerned about the ability of President Donald Trump and his Republican colleagues to deliver on their ambitious fiscal stimulus and tax reform plans.
The dollar index, a measure of the greenback's strength against a basket of six major currencies, continued to fall in overnight trading and was marked 0.03% lower at 99.45 in early European dealing. The move led U.S. Treasury yields lower, with 2-year notes slipping 1 basis point to 1.26% and 10-year notes holding steady at 2.41%.
Oil prices were also under pressure in late U.S. trading and again overnight after data from the American Petroleum Institute showed commercial oil stockpiles grew by a much higher-than-expected 4.5 million barrels to 533.6 million in the week ending March 17.
WTI futures for May delivery were marked at $47.90 each in early European trading, largely unchanged from Tuesday's New York close, while Brent contracts were edging modestly higher at $50.66 per barrel.
U.S. equity futures are signalling another tough day for Wall Street traders, with the Dow poised to lose another 35 points at the bell after Tuesday's 1.14% decline that pared 237 points from the benchmark.
The S&P 500, which fell 1.24% in Tuesday trading, its biggest decline of the year, is priced to dip another 5 points while the Nasdaq looks set to add another 8.5 points to Tuesday's 107.7 point slide when trading begins later in the day.