Canada's resource heavy main stock index looked set to open lower on Monday, with commodity prices falling as political tension in France and the Netherlands raised concerns over euro zone's commitment to tackle its ongoing debt crisis.
Stocks to watch this morning, include Royal Bank of Canada, which expects to double the number of wealth management employees in its Dubai office in the near future, and is open to opportunities for acquisitions,
Drugstore chain Jean Coutu Group Inc. said on Friday it sold 56 million shares of the 234.4 million it held in Rite Aid Corp, or nearly a quarter of its stake at an average price of $1.51 per share.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index closed Friday off 6.41 points to 12,147.28
The TSX Venture Exchange nipped up 1.32 points to 1,398.09, while the Nasdaq Canada index dropped 3.89 points to 411.55
The Canadian dollar was down 0.49 of a cent this morning to 100.38 cents U.S.
U.S. index futures were down sharply with about 30 minutes before markets open, suggesting that stocks will plummet at the start of trading. Futures for the Dow Jones industrial average were down 131 points, or 1%, to 12,857. Futures for the broader S&P 500 were down 13.3 points, or 1%, to 1,361.90.
Futures for the tech-heavy Nasdaq slumped 22.75 points, or 0.9%, to 2,651.50
In Europe, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 fell 1.7% and Germany's DAX index fell 2.7% in afternoon trading.
In Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 0.2% in overnight trading.
The losses come as political changes in Europe threaten to push the long-simmering debt crisis into the open again, but this time with some of the more economically stable countries at the epicentre.
In the Netherlands, which is one of the few countries to maintain its top-notch credit rating amid a rash of recent downgrades, talks to reduce the government's budget have collapsed, raising concerns that austerity measures are being pushed back.
Meanwhile, the news remains grim elsewhere in Europe. Spain and Italian government bond yields rose, sending borrowing costs higher as the two countries struggle to cut government spending amid weak economic activity.
China provided little optimism of its own. There, the preliminary HSBC purchasing managers' index improved slightly, but pointed to the sixth straight monthly contraction in manufacturing activity.
Commodity prices moved lower. Crude oil fell to $103.06 U.S. a barrel, or 0.8%. Gold fell to $1,633 U.S. an ounce, down 0.6%