Investing.com - Here are the top five things you need to know in financial markets on Wednesday, September 19:
1. Trade dispute remains in focus
Market participants continued to watch developments in the U.S.-China trade dispute after the Trump administration said on Monday it will implement new tariffs of 10% on $200 billion of Chinese products on Sept. 24, with the tariffs to go up to 25% in January.
China hit back, saying it will levy duties on about $60 billion worth of U.S. goods, as previously planned, but cut the tariff rates.
Traders seemed to take the announcements in stride as both tariff levels were lower than originally thought.
China took what appeared to be a consolatory tone as Premier Li Keqiang told a World Economic Forum conference on Wednesday that such disputes must be resolved through consultation, stating that it was “essential that we uphold the basic principles of multilateralism and free trade”.
2. Housing data on tap
The focus on Wednesday’s economic calendar will be on home construction coming in before the bell.
Numbers on both housing starts and building permits arrive at 8:30 AM ET (12:30 GMT).
Housing starts are expected to have risen by 5.8% to an annual rate of 1.235 million in August.
But economists predict that building permits, an indicator of future activity, edged down 0.1% to a rate of 1.31 million in August.
On Tuesday, the National Association of Home Builders said its housing market index for September was unchanged from the month before at 67.
3. Global stocks look past trade angst
Global stocks took the recent developments in stride with shares in Asia ending Wednesday’s session with solid gains. Chinese stocks were buoyed by expectations that Beijing would implement stimulus to soften the economic blow from the Sino-U.S. trade war.
Meanwhile, European stocks shared in the optimism that the two sides would return to the negotiating table with miners and autos supporting the gains on Wednesday.
U.S. futures pointed to a pause on Wednesday after the prior session’s upward move as trade concerns simmered in the background. At 5:49 AM ET (9:49 GMT), the blue-chip Dow futures inched up 2 points, or 0.01%, S&P 500 futures slipped 2 points, or 0.06%, while the Nasdaq 100 futures edged forward 3 points, or 0.03%.
4. Morgan Stanley sees Tesla capital raise as DoJ investigates Musk
Chief executive Elon Musk has repeatedly said Tesla doesn’t need to raise capital as the electric-car maker’s finances improve and expects to generate positive cash flow in the second half of this year.
The analyst note comes as the company announced Tuesday that the U.S. Department of Justice was investigating Chief Executive Elon Musk's public statements in August that he was considering taking the electric car maker private.
5. Oil moves higher on build in API stockpiles
Oil traded slightly lower on Wednesday as stockpile data from the American Petroleum Institute showed a build of 1.25 million barrels in weekly crude stockpiles.
Traders are waiting for the weekly government data from the Energy Information Administration that will be released at 10:30 AM ET (14:30 GMT) amid expectations for a draw of 2.741 million barrels.
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