Lower open likely for the U.S markets, Thursday after stock index futures fell on Thursday morning.

The weak economic data out from Europe apparently affected sentiments and Wall Street is looking for new earnings reports.

At 6:45 a.m. ET, Dow Jones futures fell 43 points, hinting a negative open of 59 points. S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures were also down.

Wednesday’s trading was not exciting due to big losses in the health sector. Thursday’s earnings report will include Travelers, Union Pacific, Blackstone, and American Express.

On the data front, retail sales data, jobless claims data, Flash manufacturing, and services PMI will be coming.

Oil  price slips

Oil prices slipped Thursday, with Brent crude futures price at $71.49 a barrel at 0943 GMT, after losing 13 cents from the last close.

The U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $63.71 per barrel, down 5 cents. Both contracts traded slightly higher earlier in the day.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) data showed U.S. crude inventories down by 1.4 million barrels in the week to April 12.  

Prices are backed by production cuts of exporters club--the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allies including Russia. The U.S. sanctions on Venezuela and Iran also curbed global supply.

European markets closed lower Thursday. The pan-European STOXX 600 traded in negative territory with most sectors in the red. Purchasing Managers Indexes (PMI) from France and Germany signaled the stagnating economy

The  Asian markets also closed lower  Thursday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 shed 0.84 percent while the Topix index fell 0.96 percent. In mainland China, Shanghai composite slipped 0.4 percent while the Shenzhen component slipped 0.55 percent.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index shed 0.49 percent. South Korea’s Kospi declined 1.43 percent. Australia’s ASX 200 ended marginally higher.

Gold  down

Gold prices plunged to the lowest, since late December on Thursday amidst indications that the global economy is showing signs of improvement prompting investors to take risks.

 “What we see here is the moderation of some of the extreme concerns about the global growth outlook,” noted Michael McCarthy, the chief market strategist at CMC Markets.