4 Things to Know in Thursday’s Market

The ECB’s policy decision is due, China imports are up for the first time in two years, oil prices rise and global stocks are mixed. Here are four things to know in the market today, September 8.

1.     Investors Await the ECB’s Policy Decision

The European Central Bank will conclude its policy meeting today, with a decision due later this morning. Investors will be focused on ECB chief Mario Draghi’s press conference, which will be held shortly after the central bank releases its statement.

Analysts do not expect the ECB to change rates, but they do expect it to extend its asset-purchasing program beyond March 2017 sometime before the year ends.

The euro was up to 1.1279 against the dollar ahead of the ECB’s decision.

2.     China’s Imports Are Up

China’s imports rose for the first time in two years in August, but exports fell at a modest pace. The data suggests that demand may be picking up both domestically and abroad.

Imports were up 1.5% compared to the same period last year, far surpassing expectations of a 4.9% decline. Exports were down 2.8%, which still beat projections of a 4% decline.

China’s trade surplus narrowed to $52.05 billion as a result. Analysts were projecting $58 billion.

3.     Oil Prices Climb

Oil prices were sharply higher on Thursday ahead of U.S. stockpile data.

U.S. crude was up 78 cents to $46.28 per barrel. Brent added 72 cents, trading at $48.70.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration will post its weekly oil supply data later this morning.

After the closing bell yesterday, the American Petroleum Institute reported that U.S. oil inventories dropped by 12.1 million barrels in the week ended September 2.

4.     Global Stocks Are Mixed

U.K. and European stocks wavered between gains and losses during mid-morning trade, as markets braced for the ECB’s policy decision.

Futures in the U.S. pointed to a slightly higher opening, with investors turning their focus to new U.S. data and comments from Fed speakers.

Asian shares were mixed, with Japan’s Nikkei falling 0.3% after the yen gained strength.

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Daniel Simmons