Breaking News

Top 5 Things to Know in the Market on Wednesday

EconomyFeb 14, 2018 05:46AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
© Reuters. 5 key factors for the markets on Wednesday - Here are the top five things you need to know in financial markets on Wednesday, February 14:

1. Inflation and retail sales in focus

Markets are focused Wednesday on key data points scheduled for release at 8:30AM ET (13:30GMT).

Traders will be keeping a close eye on the consumer price index (CPI) for January as they look for indications of inflation stateside in order go gauge support for the Federal Reserve’s plans to gradually increase interest rates.

Market analysts expect consumer prices to rise 0.3%, faster than December’s 0.1% increase, while core inflation is forecast to inch up 0.2%, a touch slower than December when consumer prices recorded their largest increase in 11 months.

On a yearly base, core CPI is projected to climb 1.7%, slowing from the 1.8% rise seen a month ago. 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.

At the same time Wednesday, the Commerce Department will publish data on retail sales for January. The consensus forecast is that the report will show retail sales increased 0.2% last month, its fifth consecutive advance. Core sales are forecast to gain 0.5%.

Rising retail sales over time correlate with stronger economic growth, while weaker sales signal a declining economy. Consumer spending accounts for as much as 70% of U.S. economic growth.

2. Dollar hits 15-month low against the yen

The dollar hit a 15-month low against the yen on Wednesday amid mounting expectations the Bank of Japan will follow the Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank's examples in normalizing monetary policy despite recent comments to the contrary by the Japanese central bank.

That was also despite data that showed slower-than-expected growth in the Japanese economy. GDP data for the fourth quarter released on Wednesday showed that growth slowed to just 0.1% from the previous quarter, missing expectations for a reading of 0.2%. On an annualized basis, the expansion slowed to 0.5% compared to expectations for growth of 0.9% and prior quarter’s 2.2% advance.

While waiting for the U.S. CPI data, USD/JPY was off 0.38% at 107.40 by 5:38AM ET (10:38GMT), pulling off an intraday low of 106.84 hit overnight.

Meanwhile, the U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, slipped 0.04% at 89.56, trading near a one-week low ahead of economic data due later.

3. Global stocks mostly higher ahead of U.S. CPI data

U.S. futures pointed to a higher open on Wednesday ahead of the publication of the inflation and retail sales data. At 5:40AM ET (10:40GMT), the blue-chip Dow futures rose 118 points, or 0.48%, S&P 500 futures advanced 10 points, or 0.39%, while the Nasdaq 100 futures gained 28 points, or 0.42%.

Elsewhere, European bourses also gained as traders focused on GDP data out of Germany that showed annual growth of 2.2%, the strongest for the motor of the euro zone economy since 2011. The euro zone itself registered an annual expansion of 2.7%, in line with forecasts.

Earlier, Asian shares closed with mixed signs. China’s Shanghai Composite ended with gains of 0.5% as investors prepared for a holiday week celebrating Lunar New Year. Japan’s Nikkei 225 ended 0.4% lower after the growth figures, while the stronger yen put downward pressure on stocks.

4. Bitcoin gains on positive nod from South Korean government

Bitcoin and rival cryptocurrencies traded higher on Wednesday as South Korea’s government gave the strongest signal yet that it will allow cryptocurrency exchanges to keep operating in the country, a welcome development for traders who had feared an outright ban in one of the world’s biggest markets for digital assets.

Policy makers will focus on making cryptocurrency trading transparent rather than outlawing it altogether, Hong Nam-ki, minister of the Office for Government Policy Coordination, said in a video a posted on the presidential website. It was the government’s first coordinated response to the public uproar over a justice ministry proposal in December to shut digital-asset exchanges.

Bitcoin was trading at $8,797.5 by 5:42AM ET (10:42GMT) on the Bitfinex exchange, up 4.2%.

Ethereum, the world’s second largest cryptocurrency by market cap, was last up 3.7% at $860.93 on the Bitfinex exchange.

Meanwhile, Ripple's XRP token gained 3.4% to $1.00850 on the Poloniex exchange.

5. Oil prices head south on bets for U.S. crude inventory build

Oil prices traded lower on Wednesday as market participants looked ahead to official U.S. crude inventory data later in the session.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration will release its official weekly oil supplies report for the week ended February 9 at 10:30AM ET (15:30GMT).

After markets closed Tuesday, the American Petroleum Institute said that U.S. oil inventories rose by 3.94 million barrels last week, compared with analysts' expectations for a gain of 2.82 million barrels.

Oil prices finished lower on Tuesday after the International Energy Agency raised concerns about a ramp-up in output by non-OPEC producers.

The commodity has been on the backfoot recently as investors worried over soaring U.S. output that has hit record levels, adding to fears that it would dampen OPEC’s efforts to rid the market of excess supplies.

U.S. crude oil futures fell 0.56% to $58.86 at 5:44AM ET (10:44GMT), while Brent oil lost 0.27% to $62.55.

Top 5 Things to Know in the Market on Wednesday

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind: 

  • Enrich the conversation
  • Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed.
  • Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically.
  •  Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and links within a comment will be removed
  • Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user.
  • Don’t Monopolize the Conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also believe strongly in giving everyone a chance to air their thoughts. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
Post also to:
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
jesy beckett
jesy beckett Feb 14, 2018 6:16AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
namaste....United healthcare,. is go..presently the best way to secure global interactions is to monitor the smallest of the smallest, algorithm set to base 7 with a variance to 8 will allow for each to grow exponentially w growth, in a compressed as well as compressed purpose overall..each1, is a easier measuring system negating the fluff...many thanks to those who do for those in a calcuted fashion..]™✓
0 0
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.
Continue with Google
Sign up with Email