Top 5 Things to Know in the Market on Thursday

Here are the top five things you need to know in financial markets on Thursday, May 11:

1. Bank of England’s ‘Super Thursday’ update

The Bank of England will announce its monetary policy decision at 11:00GMT (7:00AM ET) on Thursday and is widely expected to leave interest rates untouched at 0.25%.

The British central bank will also publish its monetary policy meeting minutes as well as the Quarterly Inflation Report at the same time.

Faced with Brexit unknowns, a national election and mixed economic data, BoE Governor Mark Carney and his colleagues will probably say they want more clarity before paving the way for the first interest rate hike in nearly a decade.

Ahead of the BoE’s announcement, data showed British industrial output shrank for a third month in a row in March, while the trade gap widened, underscoring how the impact of last year’s Brexit vote has begun to weigh on the economy.

The pound was down around 0.3% against the dollar at 1.2910 by 10:35GMT (5:35AM ET).

2. Oil extends gains after tallying best day since December

Oil prices pushed higher on Thursday, extending their biggest one-day jump since December after U.S. government data revealed the largest weekly decline in crude supplies so far this year.

U.S. crude was at $47.95 a barrel, up 62 cents, or around 1.3%, while Brent gained 62 cents to $50.85.

Prices received a further boost after Iraqi petroleum minister Ali al-Luiabi said there is an emerging consensus among OPEC and non-OPEC countries to extend an output cut agreement for six more months to help clear a supply glut.

3. Global stocks hold near all-time highs

Global stock markets were little changed near all-time highs on Thursday, as investors digested the latest batch of corporate earnings and reacted to strong gains in oil prices.

Most Asian indexes closed higher, with South Korea’s benchmark KOSPI reaching a fresh record while Japan’s Nikkei approached the 20,000 level. Chinese shares erased earlier losses to end up 0.3%.

In Europe, stocks across the continent were little changed in mid-morning trade, holding near 21-month highs. A well-received earnings report from UniCredit (MI:CRDI) helped lift Italian bank shares.

On Wall Street, the blue-chip Dow futures inched down 20 points, or around 0.1%, the S&P 500 futures dipped 3 points, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100s futures lost 7 points.

There are a couple of economic reports Thursday, including weekly jobless claims and producer price inflation data both due at 8:30AM ET (12:30GMT).

Markets are pricing in around an 80% chance of a hike at the Fed’s June meeting, according to Investing.com’s Fed Rate Monitor Tool.

4. Snap shares plunge after ugly earnings

Snap Inc (NYSE:SNAP) shares plunged ahead of the open on Thursday after the Snapchat owner reported slowing user growth and revenue in its first earnings report as a public company, missing some Wall Street estimates.

Shares tumbled as much as 25% in after-hours trading on Wednesday, wiping out some $6 billion from Snap’s market value. The stock was last down 22.3% at $17.85 in pre-market trade, just above its IPO price of $17.

Snap said its daily active users (DAUs) rose 36.1% to 166 million in the first quarter from a year earlier, marking a slowdown from the 47.7% rise for the fourth quarter and 62.8% jump for the third quarter that the company reported in its IPO filing.

The tech company’s net loss widened to $2.21 billion, or $2.31 per share, in the first quarter, from $104.6 million, or 14 cents per share, due to stock-based compensation related to the IPO.

5. Bitcoin crosses $1,800 as monster rally continues

Bitcoin cleared the $1,800-level for the first time on Thursday to hit a fresh record high, as a month-long monster rally continues amid bullish noises around the future of the cryptocurrency.

Prices rose to a daily peak of $1,839.23. It was last at $1,817.42 a coin, up around 3.5%. It rose more than $100 in just two days, after clearing $1,700 for the first time on Tuesday.

The digital currency has gained for 18 straight days, rising almost 50% over that time. Since the start of the year, the price of bitcoin has soared 81%.

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