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Italy Earthquake Reduces Towns to Rubble

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Oil falls, EM struggles, and an earthquake hits Italy. Here are some of the things people in markets are talking about today.

Oil leads commodities lower

After a bump yesterday afternoon following reports that Iran may support an OPEC output freeze, oil has resumed its drop this morning. A barrel of West Texas Intermediate for October delivery traded at $47.35 at 5:48 a.m. ET, down 75 cents, after industry data showed U.S. stockpiles rose. Iran also said this morning that it may not attend next month's OPEC meeting in Algiers. In industrial metals, copper dropped to $4,690.50 a metric ton, erasing all of 2016's gains as China cut imports of the commodity to the lowest level in 17 months while exports surged.

Italy earthquake

A powerful earthquake hit central Italy overnight, causing considerable damage and loss of life. The 6.2 magnitude quake struck at 3:36 a.m. local time and has left at least 38 people dead, with that toll continuing to climb through the morning. 

EM struggles

Turkey's benchmark Borsa Istanbul 100 Index fell as much as 2.9 percent this morning after the country's armed forces launched an offensive against Islamic State, which included putting ground forces inside Syria. In South Africa, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan has said he is getting legal advice after receiving a summons for questioning by an elite police unit. The country's central bank this morning said South Africa has "too much inflation" to lower interest rates, despite sluggish growth expectations for 2016.

Markets mixed

Overnight, the MSCI Asia Pacific Excluding Japan Index dropped 0.4 percent with Japan's Topix index bucking the regional trend to close 0.7 percent higher, with exporters leading the gains. In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index was 0.4 percent higher at 6:14 a.m. ET with trading in the dog days of August seeing volatility at its lowest level since March 2015. S&P 500 futures were up 0.1 percent.

Waiting for Jackson Hole

The main event markets are watching this week is Janet Yellen's speech at 10 a.m. on Friday in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Amid a very quiet August, this summit is being seen as a chance for the Fed Chair to signal her rate change intentions for the back end of the year

What we've been reading 

This is what's caught our eye over the last 24 hours.

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