Markets & News

Five Things You Need to Know to Start Your Day

The Bank of Japan holds, Deutsche Bank gets fined, and euro-area inflation beats expectations. Here are some of the things people in markets are talking about today.

Bank of Japan meeting

A sign for the Bank of Japan is seen in Tokyo, Japan, WednesIn the first of a troika of major central bank meetings this week, the BOJ kept its stimulus unchanged and maintained its 2017 inflation forecast as it waited to judge the impact of recent currency moves. The yen was trading at 113.9 to the dollar at 5:06 a.m. ET. Tomorrow, the Federal Reserve will announce its latest monetary policy decision and while no change is expected, investors will watch for signals of a March rate hike. On Thursday, the Bank of England is also predicted to stand pat, but may revise up its growth forecasts.

Euro-area inflation, growth

Inflation in the euro bloc showed a 1.8 percent annual increase in January, the fastest pace since early 2013. While that was driven by an 8.1 percent increase in energy prices, the headline number is now effectively at the European Central Bank’s target of close to but below 2 percent. That’s likely to intensify debate about the institution’s policy stance. The economy in the common-currency zone expanded 1.8 percent in the fourth quarter from a year earlier, and unemployment fell to 9.6 percent in December, although the performance was mixed on the national level. In Germany unemployment fell to another record low, while in Italy it unexpectedly rose.

Mirror trades

Deutsche Bank AG was fined on both sides of the Atlantic over compliance failures that saw the bank help wealthy Russians move $10 billion out of the country. The $629 million fines were handed down weeks after the bank agreed to pay $7.2 billion to U.S. authorities to settle an investigation into mortgage-debt sales. Shares in the bank, which is due to report earnings on Thursday, were trading higher at 18.975 euro by 5:34 a.m. ET

Markets mixed

Overnight, the MSCI Asia Pacific Index dropped 0.9 percent while Japan’s Topix index fell 1.4 percent as concerns grew over President Donald Trump’s isolationist policies. In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index was broadly unchanged at 5:40 a.m. ET with retailers selling off and banks rising. U.S. stock futures fell after the acting attorney general’s dismissal stoked jitters about the unpredictability of the new administration.

Coming up…

In today’s economic data, Chicago PMI is due at 9:45 a.m. ET, with U.S. consumer confidence for January due 15 minutes later. Apple Inc. is due to report earnings after the bell, with investors looking to see if the company managed to turn around recent quarters of stalled growth at the end of 2016.