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Futures mostly lower following Paris attacks

U.S. stock index futures pointed to a flat open on Monday after the terror attacks in Paris over the weekend, with markets expecting subdued trade as investors looked to traditional safe-haven assets.

Futures traded mostly lower, giving up an earlier attempt to hold gains after sharp overnight losses.

European markets were mixed Monday after earlier trading higher as traders digested the potential impact of the coordinated attacks in Paris on Friday night.

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
Lucas Jackson | Reuters
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

"Everything is of secondary importance to Friday's events in Paris. It is far too soon to judge the full economic implications of the attacks," said Emily Nicol, economist at Daiwa Capital Markets.

Short-term German government bonds hit record lows on Monday as investors looked to safety, with U.S. Treasurys also seeing steady demand, with yields on the 10-year yield pushed down to trade around 2.25 percent.

Elsewhere gold traded around 0.6 percent higher at $1,087 an ounce and oil prices climbed, recovering from some of last week's heavy selling, but remained near August lows. U.S. crude futures were trading 0.4 percent higher at $40.90 a barrel early Monday, while Brent was up more about 1.8 percent near $44.38 a barrel as of 8:52 a.m., ET.

Top European Central Bank policymakers – including President Mario Draghi will be speaking Monday and might give clues to the likely monetary policy response to the tragic events.

France has been rocked by a series of coordinated terrorist attacks in Paris on Friday night that left 129 dead and hundreds injured.

The Islamist militant group that calls itself "Islamic State" (ISIS) claimed responsibility for the attacks. France responded at the weekend by launching air strikes against IS targets in Syria.

The November Empire Manufacturing index came in at negative 10.7. October's print was negative 11.4.

Investors will also be looking to the minutes from the October Federal Open Market Committee meeting, released on Wednesday.

In Asia overnight, stocks were hit by a sell-off on Monday, with tourism-related plays among the hardest-hit, as sentiment was badly dented by the Paris attacks. In other Asia news, data released Monday showed Japan's economy slid back into recession in July-September.

"The atrocious events in Paris are, of course, the immediate cause of a weaker euro, and stronger yen. However, I am struck that the reaction to such atrocities has changed a lot since the attacks on New York, Washington D.C., and the skies above America in September 2001," said global strategist at Societe Generale, Kit Juckes in a note to clients published early Monday.

"Then, we stood and stared, in shock. The U.S. and the global economy were slowing before the World Trade Centre towers collapsed and the emotional reaction made sure the outcome was severe. But we've moved on. More appalled than shocked," he added