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Fed split on interest rates, White House split on policy, and metals rally. Here are some of the things people in markets are talking about today.

Fed minutes, ECB account

The minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee meeting in July showed members were split on the inflation outlook, with “several” indicating the risks could be tilted to the downside, while others were worried about an overshoot of the inflation target. U.S. stocks rose and the dollar fell after the release. Across the Atlantic, the European Central Bank will publish an account of its July meeting at 7:30 a.m. Eastern Time, with investors likely to be on the look out for any hints of tapering. 

White House policy

White House chief strategist Steve Bannon spoke candidly in an interview with The American Prospect magazine yesterday, outlining the daily policy battles among President Donald Trump’s top advisors. Trump himself is in some difficulty with American business leaders as CEOs are distancing themselves from the president after he disbanded his two  business advisory councils yesterday.

All about that base

Zinc hit a 10-year high of over $3,000 a metric ton for the first time in almost a decade overnight, and soared by its daily limit in Shanghai trading. Aluminum hit a six-year high and iron ore futures gained 5.1 percent. While capacity curbs in China are one of the main catalysts for the rally, optimism over global growth prospects is also driving renewed investor interest in base metals. 

Markets mixed

Overnight, the MSCI Asia Pacific Index added 0.5 percent, while Japan’s Topix index slipped 0.1 percent as the yen strengthened against the dollar following the Fed minutes. In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index was 0.3 percent lower at 5:30 a.m., with bank stocks leading the losses. S&P 500 futures pointed to a slightly lower open

Eco data

U.K. retail sales rose more than forecast in July, with the increase almost fully accounted for by food sales and practically every other category posting a decline. Eurostat’s second reading of euro-area inflation for July confirmed the 1.3 percent flash estimate. In the U.S. we have weekly initial jobless claims and Philadelphia Fed manufacturing due at 8:30 a.m., followed by industrial production for July at 9:15 a.m. In earnings, Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd.’s report will be closely watched after Tencent’s blowout numbers yesterday, with Wal-Mart Stores Inc. also due before the bell. 

What we've been reading

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

The global economy looks set for a year of faster, firmer growth.
Trump’s tariffs would kill these American jobs. 
Africa’s richest man has a plan: Cement, oil, then Arsenal football club. 
China shows how not to sell $11.7 billion in shares.
Tencent proves again why it’s the indispensable Asian investment.
No tax cuts please, we’re Danish
Radioactive ‘pooh sticks’ trace carbon’s ocean journey.

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