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Top 5 things to know in the market on Thursday

EconomyAug 17, 2017 05:57AM ET
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© Reuters. Top 5 things to know today in financial markets - Here are the top five things you need to know in financial markets on Thursday, August 17:

1. Conviction for another Fed rate hike fades

Conviction for another U.S. rate hike before the end of the year faded after the minutes from the Federal Reserve's July meeting showed policymakers were increasingly wary of recent softness in inflation.

The minutes, published Wednesday, also indicated the Fed was poised to begin reducing its $4.2 trillion portfolio of Treasury bonds and mortgage-backed securities.

Futures traders are pricing in about a 40% chance of a rate hike by the end of the year, according to’s Fed Rate Monitor Tool, down from roughly 50% before the Fed minutes.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was at 93.65 in early trade, off Wednesday's three-week high of 94.05.

Market players will focus on data on weekly jobless claims and the Philadelphia Fed manufacturing survey at 8:30AM ET (1230GMT) to gauge the strength of the world's largest economy and how it will impact the Fed's view on monetary policy. There is also industrial production data at 9:15AM ET (1315GMT).

2. Global stocks hit by doubts over Trump's economic agenda

Global stock markets were mostly lower, as sentiment was dampened by worries over U.S. President Donald Trump's ability to implement his economic policies after he disbanded two high-profile business advisory councils.

The move came after several chief executives quit in protest over his tepid response to violence at a white nationalist rally over the weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Stock markets across Asia ended mixed, despite lessening tensions from North Korea.

In Europe, shares were lower in mid-morning trade, with indices in Germany and France on track to snap a three-day winning streak.

Meanwhile, U.S. stock futures pointed to a lower open on Wall Street, with the major benchmarks down between 0.1%-and-0.3%.

3. Last major wave of U.S. earnings

A handful of companies are expected to release earnings today in one of the last big waves of the earnings season.

Retail heavyweight Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) and Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) are due to report quarterly results ahead of the opening bell.

After the market closes, mall-based retailers Gap (NYSE:GPS) and Ross Stores (NASDAQ:ROST) are expected to report.

4. Industrial metals continue monster rally

Industrial metals extended this week's monster rally to hit fresh multi-year highs on expectation China's reform of its metals industry will curb supply against a backdrop of robust demand.

Zinc prices in London surged to their highest in almost a decade, while aluminum and copper hit their highest since 2014. Palladium prices also rallied to a 16-year high.

5. Oil slides to 3-week low as U.S. output hits 2-year high

Oil prices slumped to their lowest level in around three weeks after U.S. government data revealed a weekly climb in domestic production to the highest level in over two years.

Data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration showed that total domestic crude production edged up by 79,000 barrels a day to 9.5 million barrels a day last week, its highest level since July 2015.

U.S. crude was about 0.3% lower at $46.63 a barrel, adding to Wednesday's 1.6% slide.

Global benchmark Brent slipped 0.2% to $50.16, after the previous session's 1% drop.

Top 5 things to know in the market on Thursday

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