Five Things Everyone Will Be Talking About Today

There's a lot going on, get caught up here

Bank of England Maintains Rate at Record-Low 0.5%

China shares stabilize, European stocks tumble, and the Bank of England will probably hold interest rates. Here are some of the things people in markets are talking about today.

China shares

The Shanghai Composite Index closed 2 percent higher at the end of a session that saw the market gauge briefly fall below its August closing low. The rally was led by a group of smaller companies that pledged to take action to stabilize the market. Beyond the recent gyrations in the country's stocks and currency, worries are now growing about how Chinese authorities are going to handle the hangover from the country's massive debt expansion since 2008.

European equities tumble

The Europe Stoxx 600, ignoring the China rally, declined 2.8 percent by 10:40 a.m. London time as it echoed the late-day slump in U.S. stocks. This morning's reversal, wiping out two days of gains, means that the relief rally that some investors had expected is yet to materialize for European markets. Shares in Renault SA also fell as much as 20 percent in Paris following an AFP report linking the automaker to an emissions standards investigation.

Bank of England rate decision

The Bank of England is due to announce it decision to - all indicators suggest - keep rates unchanged at 12:00 a.m. London time. All 45 analysts in a Bloomberg survey predict no change from the bank. The pound touched a one-year low versus the euro this morning and was trading at $1.4374 at 11:15 a.m. London time. The European Central Bank is scheduled to release an account of its December policy meeting where Mario Draghi unveiled a package of easing measures at 12:30 p.m. London time. 

Hong Kong dollar

Following last week's questions over Saudi Arabia's ability to maintain its peg to the dollar, attention has turned to the Hong Kong dollar's 32-year-old currency peg. The currency dropped by as much as 0.32 percent - its biggest intraday loss since October 2003 - to a four-year low of HK$7.785 versus the U.S. dollar as options prices indicate there is a 27 percent chance it will weaken beyond its permitted range by the end of the year.

Coming up..

At 8:30 a.m. ET the latest initial jobless claims figures continue, with economists expecting a small decline to 275,000 from last week's 277,000. Earnings season continues with JPMorgan Chase & Co. earnings out early this morning and Intel Corp. due to report after the close.

What we've been reading

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

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