U.S. and Canadian stock markets appear headed for losses at the open after a weak tone in overseas equity markets overnight, as investors continue to look for signals that this year's market rally may be running out of steam.
The exception was Japan, where the Nikkei rallied a further 1.19 per cent and closed at its highest level in more than five years. The Japanese market got a boost from further weakness in the yen, as G7 officials continue to show little sign of discouraging the country's ambitious stimulus measures.
It was a different story elsewhere in Asia. The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong fell 1.42 per cent after China reported its factory output grew 9.3 per cent in April, up from a seven-month low of 8.9 per cent in March but missing market expectations. A report on fixed-asset investment was also a disappointment.
By contrast, the U.S. retail sales report for April came in stronger than expected this morning, helping U.S. stock futures to pare some of their earlier losses.
Here's the rundown of what else is happ ening this morning and what's to come.
U.S. futures: S&P Toronto -0.57 per cent; S&P 500 -0.36 per cent; Dow -0.31 per cent; Nasdaq -0.43 per cent
Hong Kong's Hang Seng -1.42 per cent
Shanghai composite index -0.22 per cent
Japan's Nikkei +1.19 per cent
London’s FTSE 100 -0.32 per cent
Germany’s DAX -0.64 per cent
France's CAC 40 -0.48 per cent
Italy's FTSE MIB -0.85 per cent
WTI crude oil (Nymex Jly) -0.99 per cent at $95.34 (U.S.) a barrel
Gold (Comex Jun) -0.63 per cent at $1,427.50 (U.S.) an ounce
Copper (Comex July) +0.33 per cent at $3.36 (U.S.) a pound
Canadian dollar down 0.0037, or 0.37 per cent, at $0.9890 (U.S.)
ECONOMIC INDICATORS TO WATCH:
The U.S. Commerce Department said retail sales in April rose 0.1 per cent, better than the Street consensus calling for a drop of 0.3 per cent.
STOCKS TO WATCH:
Earning today include: AngloGold Ashanti Ltd.; Cardiome Pharma Corp.; Crew Energy Inc.; Enerflex Ltd.; Fortress Paper Ltd.; Lonmin PLC; ShawCor Ltd.; Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd.; Valener Inc.
THIS MORNING'S TOP INVESTING READS ON THE WEB:
Stock shorts have been getting hurt in this year's market rally, but don't call it a squeeze.
Federal Reserve officials have mapped out a strategy for winding down an unprecedented $85 billion-a-month bond-buying program meant to spur the economy.
Why the extraordinary jump in Indian gold imports won't last.
A look at just how wrong every strategist has been this year about the stock market rally.
Don't look know, but Dr. Doom Nouriel Roubini has become bullish on stocks.
The premarket report is constantly updated to reflect the latest news developments and market moves. For instant headlines on breaking economic and corporate news in the premarket, follow Darcy Keith on Twitter at @eyeonequities.