U.S. stock futures joined global equity markets in a push lower on Monday, driven by fears that U.K. voters will choose to leave the European Union in just over a week and amid some nervousness ahead of central bank meetings in the U.S. and Japan. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures fell 52 points, or 0.3%, to 17,724, while S&P 500 futures dropped 6.3 points, or 0.3%, to 2,081. Nasdaq-100 futures slipped 15.25 points, or 0.3%, to 4,442.75.
A global selloff that began on Friday seemed determined to resume as Asian markets picked up the baton. The Nikkei 225 index finished 3.5% lower as the Japanese yen soared against rivals, hitting a three-year high against the euro. The Shanghai Composite lost more than 3%, as investors absorbed several economic reports out of China. "All the price action seen during the Asia session has been indicative of markets hunkering down and reducing risk," Simon Smith, chief economist at FxPro, in a note to clients Monday. Smith said the Federal Reserve statement due later this week could even be eclipsed by the Bank of Japan decision due Thursday, given the "unconventional nature" of policies coming from Tokyo in particular.
European stocks dropped near 1%. Across other markets, oil prices were under pressure, with Brent briefly dropping under $50 a barrel, while gold was up about $7.70, or 0.6%, to $1,283.50. Wall Street finished lower for a second straight session on Friday, as jittery investors rushed into government bonds, pushing the yield on the 10-year Treasury to a three-year low. The S&P 500 finished 19.41 points, or 0.9%, lower at 2,096.07 on Friday, and suffered its first weekly loss in four weeks, dropping 0.2%.