Before the bell: What you need to know before the US market open

 
Billy Bambrough
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Gold is certainly glittering at the moment (Source: Getty)

Sterling and bond yields continue to slide, though gold has been labelled as the go-to investment for the rest of the year.

Here's what you need to know before the US market opens at 2:30pm London time.

US stock futures are not looking good ahead of the open. The S&P is down by 0.62 per cent, the Nasdaq is 0.74 per cent lower, while the Dow is off by 0.61 per cent. The US 10-year yield is down four basis points at 1.34 per cent.

Asian stock markets ended the day with mixed results and led to a poor start for most of Europe. The Nikkei plunged during the day but then regained some ground, closing with a loss of 1.9 per cent.

Chilcot gives some distraction...

The release of the much-anticipated Chilcot inquiry has moved the limelight from the sell-off in the City following the UK vote to quit the European Union to the Iraq war and former Prime Minister Tony Blair.

However the pound has still managed to sink to fresh 31-year lows, dropping to $1.2798 in overnight action.

Some investors fear a second leg of weakness is coming for sterling – perhaps sending the pound as low as $1.20. It has recovered from lows somewhat however, a short while ago trading down 0.3 per cent at 1.2985.

Meanwhile, the US 10-year yield pressed below 1.32 per cent in early trade, making for the lowest reading on record.

Australia, Italy, and the UK have also racked up record low yields in recent days.

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However, safe haven assets are performing better. Analysts at this UBS think that the gold price will continue to rise this year.

UBS strategist Joni Teves and her team hiked their gold price forecasts for this year right through to 2020.

They argued that the precious metal had likely entered the early stages of the next bull-run, in which prices are expected to rise.

Stocks to watch

Electric car maker Tesla is still in the news for all the wrong reasons.

Elon Musk's car industry disrupter says it told federal authorities about a fatal autopilot crash nine days after it occurred.

The company went on the defensive, saying in a statement:

Tesla does not find it necessary, nor does any automaker, to share the details of every accident that occur in a Tesla vehicle. More than a million people die globally every year in car accidents, but automakers do not disclose each of these accidents to investors, let alone before those investigations are complete and without regard to what the results of those investigations end up being.

Real estate investment trust Ventas has agreed to buy virtually all of the medical and life sciences properties of Wexford Science & Technology LLC from Blackstone for $1.5bn, according to a statement released by Ventas.

Read more: Osborne created even more uncertainty by ditching surplus target

The deal includes 23 properties and two development sites, which are home to tenants including Yale University, Wake Forest University and Alexion Pharmaceuticals.

Companies reporting today

Walgreens Boots Alliance is reporting before the open. The UK and US pharma giant is expected to earn an adjusted $1.14 per share on revenue of $29.72bn, according to the Bloomberg consensus.

Cogeco Communications is reporting after the close tonight.

Economic announcements

The trade balance is out shortly and the then the Markit PMI and ISM non-manufacturing are released at 2:45pm and 3pm London time respectively. The economic highlight of the day is the the latest Federal Reserve policy meeting minutes out at 7pm London time.

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