Investing.com – Here are the top five things you need to know in financial markets on Thursday, October 12:
1. Markets Turn to U.S. Data after Fed Meeting Minutes
Market participants were looking ahead to reports on U.S. jobless claims and producer price inflation due at 8:30 a.m. ET (12:30 GMT) on Thursday, as well as the highly-anticipated consumer price inflation data set to be released at 8:30 a.m. ET (12:30 GMT) on Friday.
The minutes showed that several policymakers believe additional tightening will depend on upcoming inflation data.
However, most Fed members said they feel another rate increase this year “was likely to be warranted.”
Following the release of the minutes and in anticipation of the U.S. data, the U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was steady at 92.84 by 05:30 a.m. ET (09:30 GMT), its lowest since September 26.
2. ECB President Mario Draghi Speech on Tap
European Central Bank President Mario Draghi was set to participate in a panel discussion about monetary policy at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, in Washington DC at 9:30 a.m. ET (14:30 GMT) on Thursday.
Investors were hoping to get further insight as to what decision to expect from the ECB this month with regards to asset purchases and forward guidance.
Draghi indicated last month that the ECB could start tapering its massive stimulus program as early as October. The central bank’s next meeting is scheduled for Oct. 26.
3. Spanish Political Woes Temporarily Subside
Spanish political tensions eased after Catalonia stopped short of formally declaring independence from Spain this week.
Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont on Tuesday proclaimed the region’s independence from Spain but said the effects would be postponed to allow for talks with the Spanish government, averting an immediate crisis.
Following meetings on Wednesday, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy gave the Catalan government eight days to abandon its independence bid.
4. Crude Oil Turns Lower Ahead of EIA Weekly Data
Crude oil prices turned lower on Thursday after three consecutive sessions of gains, after data late Wednesday showing that U.S. crude inventories rose unexpectedly last week eclipsed recent signs that the market is tigthtening
The U.S. Energy Information Administration will release its official weekly oil supplies report at 11:00 a.m. ET (15:00GMT).
After markets closed on Wednesday, the American Petroleum Institute said that U.S. oil inventories rose by 3.1 million barrels to 468.5 million barrels last week, disappointing expectations for a drop of 400,000 barrels.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures declined 41 cents, or around 0.80%, to $50.89 a barrel, off Wednesday’s more than one-week highs of $51.41.
Meanwhile, Brent crude futures, the benchmark for oil prices outside the U.S., slid 19 cents, or 0.32%, to $56.74 a barrel.
5. Global Stock Markets Mixed
World shares remained supported by overall optimism, with a number of major indexes hovering at record highs, although caution in Europe due to politicial uncertainty in Spain.
Asian-Pacific equities closed mixed on Thursday, although Japan’s Nikkei 225 approached a 21-year peak, underlining overall confidence in the local economy.
According to recent surveys, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is likely to retain his coalition’s dominant position in parliament after the October 22 snap election, which would allow him to pursue current economic policies.
Meanwhile, European shares were mixed amid lingering concerns over political stability in Spain and ahead of ECB President Mario Draghi’s highly-anticipated speech later in the day.
On Wall Street, U.S. stocks pointed to a steady to lower open, after ending the previous session at fresh record highs as the minutes of the Fed’s most recent policy meeting seemed to confirm the possibility of a December rate hike.