Equity futures retreat, tracking losses in Europe, Japan

U.S. stock index futures fell on Thursday, tracking a retreat in overseas shares, amid scant domestic catalysts to drive trading ahead of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s speech Friday at a symposium of central bankers.

Bernanke is set to address central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, where he could announce new measures to boost growth. He is expected to stoke expectations for a third round of quantitative easing, though he may not detail the timing of the Fed’s action.

European shares .FTEU3 fell 0.4 percent with investors reluctant to increase their exposure to riskier assets ahead of the Fed meeting. Japanese stocks .N225 fell almost 1 percent to a two-week closing low.

“There’s so little news that’s impacting the market ahead of Bernanke that weakness overseas is enough to move us, even if in general we’ll be in a holding pattern until tomorrow,” said Cort Gwon, chief strategist at HudsonView Capital Management in New York.

Daily trading volume, which has been at 2012 lows this week in a reflection of investors’ reluctance to place big bets before Bernanke’s speech, could weigh on profits at exchanges and brokers.


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Dean Popplewell

Dean Popplewell

Vice-President of Market Analysis at MarketPulse
Dean Popplewell has nearly two decades of experience trading currencies and fixed income instruments. He has a deep understanding of market fundamentals and the impact of global events on capital markets. He is respected among professional traders for his skilled analysis and career history as global head of trading for firms such as Scotia Capital and BMO Nesbitt Burns. Since joining OANDA in 2006, Dean has played an instrumental role in driving awareness of the forex market as an emerging asset class for retail investors, as well as providing expert counsel to a number of internal teams on how to best serve clients and industry stakeholders.
Dean Popplewell