Stock exchange traded funds were set to open sharply lower in the U.S. on Thursday as investors fretted over weakness in the global economy and European banks’ exposure to the region’s debt crisis.
SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (NYSEArca: DIA) slipped about 2% in premarket trading as Dow futures were off 200 points before the opening bell.
In precious metals ETFs, SPDR Gold Shares (NYSEArca: GLD) added 1.2% and gold prices climbed back above $1,800 in the flight-to-safety trade.
ETFs tracking European stocks were set for a drubbing on Thursday. Among single-country funds, iShares MSCI Germany (NYSEArca: EWG) fell nearly 4% in premarket dealings. In Europe, Italy’s FTSE MIB plunged 4% while France’s CAC 40 fell nearly 3%.