European indexes are mostly flat on Tuesday on the heels of disappointing Chinese economic data showing import growth slowed sharply in June and an underwhelming meeting of Eurozone finance ministers that agreed to give Spain an additional year to meet its debt-reduction targets. However, yields on 10-year Spanish and Italian bonds eased slightly to 6.96 per cent and 6.04 per cent respectively.
Asian bourses fell on the weak Chinese import data that suggests the world's second largest economy is indeed slowing down. Investors' nerves will be tested again this Friday when key Chinese economic data is released including second-quarter GDP numbers.
Prior to the TSX open, here's what you should know:
*U.S. futures point to a higher open for equities on Tuesday as earnings season gets underway. Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 45 points, or 0.4 per cent, to 12,730. S&P 500 index futures gained 4.1 points, or 0.3 per cent, to 1,353.30, while Nasdaq 100 futures advanced 8.5 points, or 0.3 per cent, to 2,614.50.
*Oil prices have dropped to near US$85 per barrel due to weak Chinese trade data. Benchmark oil for August delivery was down 98 cents at $85.01 a barrel. Brent crude for August delivery was up 42 cents to $98.61 per barrel.
*The gloomy global growth outlook is also hurting the price of precious metals, namely gold. Spot gold dipped $1.50 to $1,585.15 an ounce. U.S. gold futures contract for August delivery edged down 0.2 per cent to $1,585.30.
*The Canadian dollar slid down by 0.26 of a cent at close on Monday to trade at 97.91 cents US.
*Of note on the U.S. economic data calendar for Tuesday, the NFIB Small Business Optimism Index for June is due as is the Redbook, a weekly measure of consumer sales at retail chain stores, discounters and department stores.