U.S. stock index futures signal further losses

Tue Oct 4, 2011 9:52am BST

* U.S. stock index futures pointed to a lower open on Wall Street on Tuesday, with futures for the S&P 500 SPc1 down 0.4 percent, Dow Jones DJc1 futures down 0.5 percent and Nasdaq 100 NDc1 futures down 0.5 percent at 0841 GMT.

* The euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index was down 2.8 percent in morning trade, retracing more than 50 percent of its recent recovery rally, with Franco-Belgian bank Dexia plummeting 24 percent to a record low.

* Belgium's finance minister, Didier Reynders, said Belgium and France stood ready to act while, according to a Belgian newspaper report, Dexia could be split up and its 'good' assets could be sold by the end of 2011.

* The bank, which was bailed out at the height of the financial crisis in 2008, has recently come under pressure over its exposure to Greece and a board meeting went on into the early hours of Tuesday in an effort to resolve its problems.

* Euro zone finance ministers are reviewing the size of the private sector's involvement in a second international bailout package for Greece, a move that could undermine the aid programme and hasten the threat of a Greek default.

* Ministers also agreed after a meeting in Luxembourg that Greece could wait until mid-November to get the next instalment from its existing emergency aid programme, piling more pressure on the government to tackle its debt problems.

* China said it was "adamantly opposed" to a proposed U.S. bill aimed at forcing it to let the yuan rise, saying its passage could lead to a trade war between the world's top two economies.

* On the economic front, investors awaited August factory orders.

* Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke testifies on the economic outlook before the Joint Economic Committee, in Washington.

* The dollar was supported near a 9-month high against a basket of currencies on Tuesday with the market gripped by fear the debt crisis in Europe could unleash substantial damage on the global economy.

* U.S. stocks dropped to a 13-month low in heavy volume on Monday as investors dumped banking shares on fears Greece's debt woes could spark a full-blown banking crisis in Europe.

* Investors pegged losses to the sharp fall in Dexia, which sank 10 percent on Monday after a Moody's warning about its liquidity due to concerns about exposure to Greece.

* The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 258.08 points, or 2.4 percent, to 10,655.30. The S&P 500 fell 32.19 points, or 2.8 percent, to 1,099.23. The Nasdaq Composite lost 79.57 points, or 3.3 percent, to 2,335.83. (Reporting by Blaise Robinson; Editing by Dan Lalor)