Stock index futures signal early losses

By @ibtimes on

Stock index futures pointed to a lower open on Wall Street on Monday, with futures for the S&P 500 down 0.3 percent, Dow Jones futures down 0.24 percent and Nasdaq 100 futures down 0.03 percent at 4:30 a.m. EDT.

U.S. oil futures slipped to as low as $98.13 a barrel as the euro fell to a seven-week low against the dollar on renewed worries over Greece's sovereign debt woes.

European stocks were down in early trade on Monday, with the euro zone's blue chip Euro STOXX 50 <.STOXX50E> index falling 1 percent to a one-month low on renewed jitters about the region's debt crisis.

European banking stocks took a beating, with Deutsche Bank down 2.4 percent and Societe Generale down 2.1 percent, while the sector's index <.SX7P> hit a 5 1/2 month low.

The euro hovered near a seven-week low against the dollar as investors sought clarity over how fresh talks on further aid for debt-stricken euro zone countries might pan out. The euro skidded to lowest levels since late March at $1.4048 in Asian trade as news that IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn had been accused of attempted rape added to the uncertainty.

Meeting on Monday, euro zone finance ministers are likely to back a bailout package for Portugal, with new conditions set by Finland, in talks overshadowed by charges against Strauss-Kahn, while the meeting was also expected to pressure Greece to announce more austerity steps to secure further emergency funding. [nLDE74E0N7]

Japan's Nikkei stock average hit a 1-month low to end just under a key technical level on Monday, hurt by volatile commodities as well as concerns about global growth.

On the macro front, the New York Federal Reserve releases its Empire State Manufacturing Survey for May, while the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo issues May housing market index.

On the earnings front, investors expected results from J.C. Penney Co and Lowe's .

U.S. stocks ended a second week of losses on a down note Friday, reflecting growing worries that stocks are ripe for a pullback.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> ended down 100.17 points, or 0.79 percent, at 12,595.75. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> finished down 10.88 points, or 0.81 percent, at 1,337.77. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> fell 34.57 points, or 1.21 percent, at 2,828.47.

(Reporting by Blaise Robinson; Editing by Hans Peters)

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