ASIA: Fell across the board, but with relative strength in Japan. Chinese steel stocks managed to rally however. Mining giants BHP and Rio Tinto have walked away from a potential iron ore joint venture in Australia’s Pilbara region, due to worries it would attract anti-trust concerns.AIG’s AIA IPO in Hong Kong has also reportedly already attracted so much investor demand that it is likely to close well ahead of schedule. Foreign investment in China slowed down for the second month in a row, with China’s FDI up only 6.14% in September. This figure had registered double-digit growth rates earlier this year.
EUROPE: Is falling moderately. ECB president Jean-Claude Trichet has fired back at Bundesbank President Axel Weber for opposing the ECB’s efforts to buy government bonds. French unions are threatening to escalate their anti-austerity protests, this time by blocking key French roads.
MACRO: Gold and oil are giving more ground. The dollar is rising, with the Dollar Index now having rebounded from the near-term low it hit of about 76.9.
U.S. FUTURES: Are falling. Watch for industrial production data at 9:15 AM ET and the housing market index from the National Association of Home Builders at 10:00 AM. Apple (AAPL) will be reporting earnings after the market close. IBM (IBM) and Citi (C) will be reporting as well.