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Bosomworth Says ECB Will Not Specify Tapering End Date

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Decision day at the ECB, budget vote expected in House, and Saudi crown prince backs oil production cut extensionHere are some of the things people in markets are talking about today.

ECB day

The European Central Bank is expected to announce today how it intends to bring to an end its large-scale asset purchases. The decision, which will be released at 7:45 a.m. Eastern Time, is expected to include reduced purchases to 40 billion euros ($47 billion) and an extension through June, according to Bloomberg economists. Some ECB policy makers see little room for more than 200 billion euros of new purchases next year, which would bring the total assets purchased to just over 2.5 trillion euros. ECB President Mario Draghi will meet journalists at 8:30 a.m to shed light on the ECB’s thinking. The euro is having a quiet morning ahead of the announcement, trading little changed at $1.1805.

House vote

House leaders showed they plan to stick to their ambitious goal of delivering tax-reform legislation by the end of the year by pressing ahead with a budget vote later today. Should the vote pass -- still not a certainty -- then the House Ways and Means Committee could release the long-awaited tax bill as early as Nov. 1. Elsewhere in Washington, National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn is no longer in the running to lead the Federal Reserve, according to three people familiar with the matter. President Donald Trump told Fox Business Network that he thinks Janet Yellen is “terrific.”

Oil production cut

Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said that “of course” he wanted to extend oil production cuts beyond March 2018 in an interview with Bloomberg News. With traders and analysts painting a cautious outlook for next year due to rising non-OPEC production, and Russian President Vladimir Putin already giving provisional backing to an extention of output curbs, it seems an agreement is likely at next month’s OPEC meeting. A barrel of West Texas Intermediate for December delivery was trading unchanged at $52.18 at 5:35 a.m.

Markets waiting

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index slipped less than 0.1 percent overnight, while Japan’s Topix index added 0.1 percent, despite a stronger yen. In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index was unchanged at 5:35 a.m. as investors await the ECB decision, while keeping an eye on developments in Catalonia. S&P 500 futures were less than 0.1 percent lower, the 10-year Treasury yield was at 2.424 percent and gold was unchanged. 

Earnings

Deutsche Bank AG and Barclays Plc released disappointing third-quarter results this morning as both European banks fell further behind their U.S. peers in trading revenue. In the U.S. today, it’s all about tech earnings, with Twitter Inc., Amazon.com Inc., Alphabet Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Intel Corp. due to report. 

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