Stocks: U.S. Futures Set to Open Down Around 1% as Virus Spreads

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By Geoffrey Smith — U.S. stock futures are set to open lower again on Friday, with no imminent sign of a turnaround after their biggest-ever daily points drop on Thursday – even though the pace of selling appeared to be slowing.

By 7 AM ET (1200 GMT), the contract was down 267 points, or 1.1%, while the S&P 500 futures contract was also down 1.0% and the contract was down 0.9%.

In currency markets, the dollar weakened against the euro amid reports of European investors bailing out of U.S. stock markets. It was at $1.1007, up 0.1%, after hitting a three-week high of $1.1047 earlier. The greenback also weakened further against havens such as the yen and Swiss franc. was down 0.8% at 108.69, while was down 0.1% at 0.9664, a three-week low.

The moves followed further anecdotal reports of the Covid-19 virus spreading across the world. The number of confirmed cases in South Korea and Iran jumped again, while Germany and Switzerland took emergency measures to stop the disease’s spread. Sub-Saharan Africa also registered its first case with a patient in Nigeria.

futures initially shed another 3%, falling as low as $44.97 a barrel, their lowest since the end of 2018.

futures dipped below $50 a barrel before rebounding to $50.72, down 2.0%. WTI was down 2.7% at $45.79.

, however, gave up some of their recent gains to trade 0.8% lower at $1,630.35 a troy ounce.

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