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Decision day at the Bank of England, the world’s biggest IPO may be delayed, and Trump seeks another deal with Democrats. Here are some of the things people in markets are talking about today.
Bank of England
At 7:00 a.m. Eastern Time the Bank of England will announce its latest monetary-policy decision, with analysts expecting a 7:2 vote to keep interest rates and asset purchases unchanged. The economic backdrop -- above-target inflation, low unemployment and negative real wage growth -- puts the monetary policy committee in a difficult position. The pound is trading close to $1.3200 ahead of the announcement, which will not be followed with a press conference. Markets are likely to react should the vote come in at a more hawkish 6:3, which some see as a possibility. Earlier, the Swiss National Bank left rates unchanged and said the recent decline in the value of the franc had reduced the currency’s “significant overvaluation.”
After reassurances just last week from the Saudi government that everything was on track for the world’s biggest IPO, people familiar with the matter say the country has been preparing contingency plans for a possible delay when it comes to selling shares in Saudi Aramco. Saudi Arabia has yet to announce a location for the international listing, creating knock-on effects that may delay the share sale beyond the current target for the second half of next year. The efforts in the kingdom to wean the country off oil revenues have already claimed a victim in the construction industry, and put pressure on others as spending cutbacks hit profits.
Across the aisle
Last week President Donald Trump secured a debt-ceiling extension deal with Democrats, and now it seems he’s prepared to negotiate with the opposition again to secure an agreement on ‘Dreamers’ legislation. The president’s move appears to be borne out of frustration with GOP lawmakers, rather than a bid to shift to the center. While deals may be getting done on home soil, foreign-policy headaches continue, with North Korea threatening to “sink” Japan with nuclear weapons.
U.S. stocks eked out another record high close on Wednesday but the rest of the world’s stock markets seem to be expressing doubts over the rally. Overnight, the MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell 0.1 percent, while Japan’s Topix index gained 0.1 percent. In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index was down 0.1 percent at 5:45 a.m., with S&P 500 futures also slipping 0.1 percent. The 10-year Treasury yield was unchanged at 2.190 percent and gold added $1 an ounce.
At 8:30 a.m., weekly jobless claims data will be released, with expectations for 300,000 new claims following last week’s hurricane-driven 298,000. Inflation data for the U.S. are due at the same time, with core CPI expected to slip to 1.6 percent. There are also rate decisions in Chile and Peru today.
What we've been reading
This is what's caught our eye over the last 24 hours.
- The bull run in emerging stocks may be just getting started.
- Social media is a ‘red-hot’ focus in Mueller's probe.
- A decade after the crash, British banks are smaller and poorer.
- Shkreli ordered to jail over Clinton hair-bounty stunt.
- Mnuchin sought government plane for honeymoon.
- The new £10 note dares counterfeiters to just try.
- The case against civilization.