Local stocks are poised to open lower on the back of a weak lead from Wall Street.

What you need2know:

• SPI futures down 16 points to 5392 at 5.55am AEST

• AUD at 92.67 US cents, 95.58 Japanese yen, 67.43 Euro cents and 55.79 British pence at 5.55am AEST

• On Wall St, S&P500 -1.1%, Dow Jones -1%, Nasdaq -1.2% 

• In Europe, Euro Stoxx 50 -1.4%, FTSE100 -1.1%, CAC -1.1%, DAX -1.9%

• Spot gold down 0.5% to $US1296.57 an ounce

• Iron ore up 1.3% to $US117.20 poer metric tonne.

• Brent oil down 0.8% to $US105.86 per barrel

What’s on today

Australia: NAB business survey

Japan: The central bank will release a monetary policy statement

Stocks to watch

Private equity firm Pacific Equity Partners has started assembling a board for Peters Ice Cream, in an effort to apply some pressure to trader buyers, the Australian Financial Review's Street Talk column reported.

CIMB has an “add” rating on Downer EDI and has lifted its 12-month price target to $5.99, expecting a further re-rating.

JPMorgan has retained an “underweight” rating on Sydney Airport after a report showed its quality of service for airside services and facilities as rated by airlines remained “poor”. It left its December 2014 price target unchanged at $3.80 a share.

Deutsche Bank has “buy” ratings on Aristocrat, Crown Resorts, Echo Entertainment and Tabcorp.

Currencies

FXCM currency strategist Ilya Spivak is neutral on the Aussie this week as it weighs conflicting catalysts from home-grown labour market data and minutes from the March FOMC meeting.

The greenback fell against major currencies after last week's slightly lower-than-expected US payrolls data, while European Central Bank policymakers' comments curbed expectations for more stimulus and boosted the euro.

Commodities

Copper has recovered after falling to its lowest level in more than a week as investors nervously awaited signals from policymakers in top consumer China about monetary policy easing. Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) closed at $US6675 a tonne, up 0.9 per cent. It earlier hit $US6585 a tonne, its weakest level since March 28.

The London Metal Exchange said it would launch a new contract on aluminium premiums, extending its product suite for the metal just weeks before major rival CME Group starts a competing futures contract. Aluminium closed at $US1817 a tonne, down 0.3 per cent.

United States 

US stocks finished lower, putting the S&P 500 on track for its biggest three-day drop in two months, as investors rotated into defensive names to protect against further declines. 

Pfizer, which was down 3 per cent, added pressure to the Dow and S&P 500. The company’s experimental breast cancer drug in a clinical trial nearly doubled the amount of time patients lived without their disease getting worse, but overall survival was not yet shown to be statistically significant, researchers said.

Earnings season gets under way this week, with results due from financials JPMorgan Chase & Co and Wells Fargo & Co , as well as retailer Bed, Bath & Beyond. S&P 500 companies’ first-quarter earnings are projected to have increased just 1.2 per cent from a year ago, Thomson Reuters data showed. 

Europe

European equities retreated on Monday after a three-week rally, led down by French companies Iliad and Bouygues on expectations that a failed acquisition bid by Bouygues would hurt the earnings of both.

Bouygues fell 6 per cent to 29 euros and Iliad dropped 5.5 per cent after Numericable won a bid to acquire Vivendi’s SFR telecom unit. Numericable shares spiked 14.8 per cent. Bouygues had been up 12.9 per cent on the year, compared with a rise in the Euro STOXX 50 of 3.9 per cent.

What happened yesterday

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index closed down 9.1 points, or 0.2 per cent, on Monday at 5413.7, after earlier falling as low as 5391.3.

Gold producers outperformed the rest of the mining sector. Heavyweight Newcrest Mining lifted 3.8 per cent to $10.30. Gold junior Regis Resources was the top stock in the ASX 200, up 5 per cent to $2.23.