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Traders brace for U.S. inflation data, commodities tumble, and tax debate gets more political. Here are some of the things people in markets are talking about today.

Price print

U.S. consumer price figures and retail data will provide more clues on the strength of the world’s biggest economy. The inflation reading released at 8:30 a.m Eastern Time is forecast to show headline prices moderated to an annual rate of 2 percent, while the core measure is expected to hold steady at 1.7 percent year-on-year for the sixth month in a row. Traders don’t think an inflation surprise will imperil the hottest trade in the Treasury market this year: the narrowing gap between short- and long-dated yields. Buoyant financial conditions and a firming labor market have investors anticipating the U.S. central bank will hike rates next month despite price growth undershooting its target. 

Fiscal game-changer

House leaders cleared the way for a Thursday vote on their tax-overhaul bill as Senate writers released a late-night draft that would make many individual breaks temporary – and, in a surprise move, repeal a key part of the Obamacare law. The latter would help GOP officials meet fiscal targets but further complicate vote calculations in both chambers. “It brings the politics of health care into tax reform,” warned Republican Representative Tom MacArthur of New Jersey. 

Commodities slump

Commodities tumbled after industry data showed U.S. stockpiles unexpectedly rose last week, with a barrel of West Texas Intermediate trading at around $55. Adding to the pain was a report that Russia thinks it's too early to announce an agreement to extend output cuts. Raw materials were under fire earlier this week after the International Energy Agency cut its forecast for demand while the slowdown in Chinese industrial production and lending data has sparked fears of weakening demand in the world’s second-largest economy. 

Markets slide

The risk-off mood that’s gripped global markets this week continues, with mining and oil-related stocks the biggest losers. The MSCI All-Country World Index declined 0.2 percent, reaching the lowest in almost three weeks on its fifth consecutive tumble, while Japan’s Topix index closed lower for a fifth day. In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index was 1 percent lower at 6:00 a.m. S&P 500 futures signal more losses at the open, while the dollar slid. 

Airbus deal

Airbus SE announced the biggest commercial-plane deal in its history, securing an order valued at nearly $50 billion for 430 planes. The pact with U.S. investor Indigo Partners gives Airbus the upper hand at the Dubai Air Show, where it has been trailing Boeing Co. in orders. 

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