- Ahead of the open on Wall Street, it has been a risk-on day with stocks and commodity dollars rising, and yen falling. The AUD was the strongest and EUR the weakest ahead of the ECB rate decision on Thursday.
- USD shrugged off Trump’s latest criticism of the Fed, after he labelled the central bank policymakers as ‘boneheads’ and called for zero interest rates or lower. US headline (0.1%m/m) and core PPI (0.3%) both came in ahead of expectations. CPI is due tomorrow.
- GBP stalled after recent sharp gains, allowing the FTSE to shine.
- US crude oil Inventories due at 15:30 BST – the data is expected to reveal oil stocks declined by 2.7 million barrels last week following a 4.8 million drawdown the week before.
Corporate news courtesy of colleague Ken Odeluga:
- Hong Kong stock exchange group has made a £32bn bid for LSE owner London Stock Exchange Group. It's worth £20.45 per shares plus 2.495 new HKEX shares for every LSEG share, or £83.61/share all in. The UK company traded at £72.50 early in the afternoon, up 6%. A shortfall between an offer price and market price typically suggests investors don't currently expect a deal to be done. LSEG said it "remains committed to and continues to make good progress on its proposed acquisition of Refinitiv Holdings (formerly Thomson Reuters' data division).”
- UK construction equipment leasing firm Ashtead was another European stock market standout, rising as much as 4%, the most since June, after an initial volatile reaction on Tuesday following quarterly results.
- World High Life will be the first Cannabis stock to list in London. The investment company will set its market value at £11m, with a view to capitalising further from its focus on the European and Canadian medicinal pot markets.
- U.S. pre-market action includes a 3% rise by troubled retailer J.C. Penny above its consensus price target for the first time in 11 weeks. With little company specific news, JCP's rise may be related to Tuesday's sharp rotation into 'value' stocks. Early Wednesday indications suggest that the move to favour cheaper, higher-yielding shares over long-standing 'momentum' outperformers, may already be fizzling out just a day later.
- Among bigger movers, GE-owned oil rig group Baker Hughes looks set to drop when Wall Street opened after warning that its third quarter could be hit by geopolitics and toughening industry trends
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