U.S. stock index futures signal weaker Wall St open

LONDON, March 18 Mon Mar 18, 2013 5:30am EDT

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LONDON, March 18 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures pointed to a weaker open on Wall Street on Monday, with futures for the S&P 500, the Dow Jones and the Nasdaq 100 down by between 0.6 and 1.1 percent, mirroring losses in Europe and Asia.

* The announcement at the weekend that tiny Cyprus would impose a tax on bank accounts as part of a 10 billion euro ($13 billion) bailout rattled markets globally as it broke with previous European practice that depositors' savings were sacrosanct.

* National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo issues March housing market index at 1400 GMT. Economists in a Reuters survey expect a reading of 47, versus 46 in February.

* Europe's Airbus has landed a record order potentially worth $20 billion at list prices from Indonesia's Lion Air, sources familiar with the matter said on Sunday, smashing rival Boeing's grip on one of the world's fastest-growing airlines.

* To get its 787 Dreamliner flying again, Boeing Co is testing the plane's volatile battery system to a rigorous standard that the company itself helped develop - but that it never used on the jet.

* Highbridge Capital Management, a hedge fund manager owned by JPMorgan Chase & Co, has raised a $5 billion mezzanine debt fund, a spokesman said on Sunday, the latest alternative asset firm seeking to seize on corporate credit opportunities.

* U.S. futures regulators are looking into whether high-speed traders indulged in "wash trading," a strategy in which they improperly buy and sell futures contracts without taking a position in the market, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the probes.

* Directories publishers Dex One Corp and SuperMedia Inc have filed for bankruptcy after failing to win the full support of senior secured lenders for a change to a credit agreement that was needed to complete their planned merger.

* Pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index and Japan's Nikkei Average fell 0.9 percent and 2.7 percent respectively on Monday, with markets rattled by Cyprus' radical bailout plan to tax depositors.

* U.S. stocks slipped on Friday, ending the Dow Jones industrial average's longest winning streak since 1996 as investors paused just below the S&P 500's record high.

* The Dow Jones industrial average slipped 25.03 points, or 0.17 percent, to 14,514.11 at the close. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index shed 2.53 points, or 0.16 percent, to 1,560.70. The Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 9.86 points, or 0.30 percent, to end at 3,249.07.

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