European markets are mostly down on Wednesday as stocks trended downward on waning global growth fears, disappointing U.S. corporate earnings and the lingering Eurozone debt crisis. While Spain remains in focus, investors are also concerned about Italy after that country indicated it may ask the Eurozone's bailout fund to buy Italian bonds in an effort to ease its borrowing costs.
Asian bourses meanwhile are mixed on Wednesday with the global economic slowdown hurting sentiment and worries rising over a downtrend in the Chinese economy. Investors are also taking note of remarks made by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao ahead of China's second-quarter GDP growth and industrial output data due on Friday.
Prior to the TSX open, here's what you should know:
*U.S. futures point to a higher open with investors keen to hear if the U.S. Federal Reserve's policy makers have any willingness to provide more monetary stimulus.
*The price of oil has risen to near US$85 per barrel after a report from the American Petroleum Institute showed demand may be rising. Benchmark oil for August delivery was up 92 cents at $84.83 a barrel while Brent crude for August delivery was up 82 cents at $98.79 per barrel.
*Gold prices remain flat ahead of the release of Federal Open Market Committee minutes release. Spot gold for August delivery slipped 0.2 per cent, or $2.50, to $1,577.40 per ounce.
*The Canadian dollar slipped 0.32 of a cent at close on Tuesday to trade at 97.79 cents US.
*Statistics Canada will release its Canadian International Merchandise Trade report for May 2012 today.
*All eyes (and ears) will be on the Fed as it will release minutes of the June meeting of the central bank's rate-setting Federal Open Market Committee. Traders will also be watching for a U.S. International Trade report for May and the Energy Information Administration will release its weekly report on American petroleum inventories.