Global stocks looked set to kick off the week on a down note on Monday, with investors still fretting over the European debt crisis and now how far the contagion will spread, plus the ongoing wrangling in Washington over extending the U.S. debt ceiling.
U.S. stock index futures were down with about an hour before markets open, suggesting that stocks will fall at the start of trading. Futures for the Dow Jones industrial average were down 0.6 per cent.
In Europe, where stress tests gave 82 of 91 banks a passing grade over their ability to sustain financial volatility, Britain's FTSE 100 was down 1.1 per cent and Germany's DAX index was down 1 per cent in afternoon trading. In Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 rose 0.3 per cent in overnight trading.
The second quarter earnings season starts a busy week, with International Business Machines Corp. reporting its results on Monday, followed by a bevy of big banks on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, gold continued to move higher in Europe, where the spot price moved above $1,600 (U.S.) an ounce. However, crude oil moved slightly lower, falling to $96.92 a barrel, down 32 cents.