U.S. stock futures are pointing up this morning, but it's going to be tough for the resource-heavy S&P/TSX composite index to register any significant gains as gold and silver tumbled overnight to fresh three-year lows.
Equity markets are seeing some follow-through buying after a slate of better-than-expected U.S. economic data on Tuesday. But those economic reports aren't helping out precious metals, as some think the strong readings may push the U.S. Federal Reserve toward soon tapering its $85-billion in bond-buying purchases. The U.S. dollar is also gaining strength this morning, undermining the performance of commodities overall.
The backdrop ahead of the opening bell is mildly encouraging for equities, which were pummelled this month amid surging long-term bond yields and the possibility of a looming credit crunch in China. The 10-year U.S. Treasury yield is hovering just below 22-month highs reached earlier this week, and volatility in the U.S. bond market is starting to subside. In China, the overnight repo rate - a measurement of credit flowing to the nation's banks - slipped 40 basis points to 5.6 per cent today, according to Bloomberg. Last week, it soared to a record 12.85 per cent, about four times its average this year.
U.S. stock futures trimmed some gains as the U.S. released a weaker-than-expected final reading on first-quarter gross domestic product, highlighting the slow growth trajectory of the economy. Meanwhile, Minneapolis Fed President Narayana Kocherlakota said on CNBC this morning that the bond-market reaction to last week's Federal Reserve tapering plans was "outsized." He also said the unemployment rate is unlikely to fall below 7 per cent until the second half of next year. While not a voting member of the Fed, his comments on Monday that the central bank wasn't becoming more hawkish drew considerable attention at trading desks.
Overall, this month's 2.6-per-cent drop in the S&P 500 has market participants wondering whether it's time for another leg up. With Chinese bank lending fears abating somewhat, and feelings that the sharp reaction to the Fed's bond-tapering plans revealed last week may have been overdone, there's a bit of bargain hunting going on.
Now, here's a closer look at what's going on this morning and what's to come.
Futures: S&P 500 +0.4 per cent; Dow +0.4 per cent; Nasdaq +0.6 per cent; TSX Toronto -0.3 per cent
Hong Kong's Hang Seng +2.43 per cent
Shanghai composite index -0.43 per cent
Japan's Nikkei -1.04 per cent
London's FTSE 100 +1.07 per cent
Germany's DAX +1.60 per cent
France's CAC 40 +1.90 per cent
WTI crude oil (Nymex Aug) -0.22 per cent at $95.11 (U.S.) a barrel
Gold (Comex Aug) -2.44 per cent at $1,243.70 (U.S.) an ounce
Silver (Comex Sep) -3.36 per cent at $18.90 (U.S.) an ounce.
Copper (Comex Sep) -0.55 per cent at $3.06 (U.S.) a pound
Canadian dollar up 0.0031, or 0.33 per cent, at $0.9543 (U.S.)
U.S. dollar index up 0.10 at 82.69
U.S. 10-year Treasury yield 2.59 per cent, up 0.04
Canada 10-year government bond yield 2.54 per cent, up 0.05
STOCKS TO WATCH:
Barrick Gold Corp. could hit fresh multi-year lows today as bullion prices sink; it's down 4.4 per cent in the premarket.
AGF Management reported quarterly losses of 12 cents a share as revenues declined to $126.9-million from $133.5-million.
General Mills Inc. reported earnings in line with expectations but its guidance for fiscal year 2014 disappointed the Street. Shares are down nearly 1 per cent in the premarket.
Other earnings today include Monsanto Co.
ECONOMIC INDICATORS TO WATCH:
The U.S. Commerce Department said gross domestic product in the first quarter grew 1.8 per cent, down from the previous reading - and economists' expectations - of 2.4 per cent. Consumer spending and business investment were revised sharply downward.
THIS MORNING'S TOP INVESTING READS ON THE WEB:
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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. You can also be notified using our dashboard feature when new articles appear from this author. Read more on using this feature here.