Top 5 Things to Know in the Market on Thursday

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© Reuters. 5 key factors for the markets on Thursday

Investing.com – Here are the top five things you need to know in financial markets on Thursday, September 14:

1. Inflation to set tone for Fed meeting

The Commerce Department will publish inflation figures for August at 8:30AM ET (12:30GMT) on Thursday. Market analysts expect consumer prices to advance by 0.3%, while core inflation is forecast to rise 0.2%.

On a yearly base, core CPI is projected to ease up 1.6%, from the prior month’s 1.7% increase. Core prices are viewed by the Federal Reserve as a better gauge of longer-term inflationary pressure because they exclude the volatile food and energy categories. The central bank usually tries to aim for 2% core inflation or less.

Markets remain skeptical the Fed will raise rates again before the end of this year due to worries over the subdued inflation outlook, but it is widely expected to give an announcement on September 20 about beginning the process of reducing its balance sheet.

According to Investing.com’s Fed Rate Monitor Tool, Fed fund futures price in only a 42% chance that the U.S. central bank will raise rates by the end of the year.

Ahead of the publication, he U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, dropped 0.05% at 91.84 by 6:00AM ET (10:00GMT).

2. Eyes on number of hawks at BoE

The Bank of England will announce its rate decision at 7:00AM ET (11:00GMT) on Thursday. Most economists expect the central bank to keep rates at their record low as a struggling economy and Brexit fears offset any concerns over inflation sailing well above target.

However, some BoE policymakers have started to call for higher interest rates in the months ahead due to the recent surge in inflation, which was caused largely by the plunge in sterling following last year’s Brexit vote.

BoE members Michael Saunders and Ian McCafferty are expected to repeat their dissent, preferring to increase interest rates and all eyes are on chief economist Andy Haldane to see if he adds his vote to the group.

3. Weak data revives fears of China slowdown

Weaker-than-expected data out from China on Thursday revived worries over the slowdown in the world’s second largest economy.

Fixed-asset investment, a key growth driver for the world’s second-largest economy, grew 7.8% in January-August from a year earlier, the weakest pace since December 1999 and cooling from 8.3% in January-July.

Industrial production and retail sales also grew less than anticipated in August, slowing down from prior readings.

Analysts had widely expected China’s August data to show industrial output and retail sales growth had accelerated after fading slightly in July.

4. Global stocks mixed as Chinese data weighs

Global stocks showed mixed trade as disappointing data out of China Thursday weighed on sentiment and investors looked ahead to inflation data stateside along with the monetary policy decision by the Bank of England.

After Wall Street closed again at record highs, U.S. futures pointed to a slightly lower open as investors took profit and looked ahead to price indicators. At 6:04AM ET (10:04GMT), the blue-chip Dow futures slipped 3 points, or 0.01%, S&P 500 futures dropped 1 point, or 0.05% while the Nasdaq 100 futures gave up 5 points, or 0.08%.

Elsewhere, European stock markets were mixed on Thursday, weighed down by weaker miners. At 6:05AM ET (10:05GMT), the European benchmark Euro Stoxx 50 lost 0.20%, Germany’s DAX fell 0.22%, while London’s FTSE 100 edged forward 0.10%.

Earlier, Asian shares closed broadly lower as disappointing Chinese data weighs. Japan’s Nikkei ended with losses of 0.31%, while China’s Shanghai Composite shed 0.38%.

5. Oil continues to rally on demand hopes

Oil continued higher on Wednesday for a fourth consecutive day, pushing weekly gains past 4%, as bullish indicators helped prices recover.

On Wednesday, the International Energy Agency said global oil supplies fell for the first time in four months in August, while also revising its 2017 oil demand estimate up to 1.6 million barrels a day from its July estimate of 1.5 million.

Also on Wednesday, official U.S. data showed a record drop in gasoline inventories.

The data came a day after the latest OPEC report that showed oil production from the cartel fell last month for the first time since March.

U.S. crude oil futures gained 0.65% to $49.62 at 6:07AM ET (10:07GMT), while Brent oil traded up 0.51% to $55.44.

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