Gold slumps; pound's misery continues; oil data due

We haven't seen this number since 1985
We haven't seen this number since 1985

1. Gold drop: Gold prices are steadier Wednesday, after sliding more than 3% Tuesday in the biggest one-day drop since 2013.

"Hawkish speeches from central bankers and a strong U.S. dollar saw investors cash out on a strong yearly performance from the precious metal," said Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at ThinkMarkets.

Analysts said markets appeared to be anticipating more good news to come on the U.S. economy, which would increase the chances of a U.S. interest rate rise in December. That would make gold less attractive.

"Higher yields and a stronger dollar amid recent upbeat US data had gold trading on the back foot," said Joni Teves, a strategist at UBS.

2. Pound's misery continues: The pound continues to fall on Wednesday, dropping below $1.27, to yet another new 31-year low.

Investors are growing increasingly anxious about the potential loss of access to Europe's markets when the U.K. leaves the European Union in 2019. Banks, automakers and other businesses have said they could cancel investments and move operations out of the U.K.

Related: IMF slashes U.S. growth forecast for 2016

3. Stock market movers -- Miners, Urban Outfitters, Micron: The slide in gold is hurting miners. Fresnillo (FNLPF) and Rangold Resources (GOLD) are among the biggest losers in early trading in London.

Apple (AAPL) is up 1.5% in premarket trading, unfazed by the new Pixel line of phones announced by its rival Google (GOOG) on Tuesday.

Micron Technology (MU) is 5% down premarket, after the chip maker announced a net loss of $170 million in its fiscal fourth quarter. That compares to a net income of $471 million for the same period last year.

Urban Outfitters (URBN) shed more than 2% during extended trading hours.

premarket wednesday
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Related: Fear & Greed Index

4. Earnings & Economics: Monsanto (MON) and Corona beer maker Constellation Brands (STZ) will report ahead of the open. After the close, KFC and Taco Bell's parent company -- Yum Brands (YUM) -- will put out its quarterly update.

The Institute for Supply Management will update its U.S. services index at 10 a.m. ET. Last month's reading was a big disappointment, dropping from to 51.4 from 55.5 in July. Still, the sector has been expanding for 79 months.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration is reporting weekly crude oil inventory data at 10:30 a.m. U.S. crude futures are up 1.4% at $49.40 a barrel.

Related: CNNMoney's Tech30

5. Markets overview: U.S. stock futures are flat.

European markets are lower in early trading, with the main European indexes losing less than 1%. Asian markets ended the session mixed, with Japan's Nikkei and Hong Kong's Hang Seng up, and markets in India down.

The Dow Jones industrial average and the S&P 500 each shed 0.5% on Tuesday, and the Nasdaq dipped 0.2%.

6. Coming this week:

Thursday - Weekly U.S. jobless claims

Friday - September U.S. jobs report

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