Marketmind: No respite from China woes

Marketmind: No respite from China woes

A look at the day ahead in European and global markets from Ankur Banerjee

Before investors get consumed by the U.S. inflation data, markets will likely focus on European banks in the wake of the Italian government announcing a windfall tax and then hastily easing its stance, unnerving fragile investor confidence.

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Italy's government announced late on Tuesday a windfall tax on the country's lenders, sending banking stocks sharply lower but they rebounded on Wednesday after the government clarified that the 40% tax would not amount to more than 0.1% of their total assets.

Euro zone banks will aim to further step away from the near one-month low it touched on Tuesday. Futures indicate that European stocks are set for a much higher open.

Over in Asia, investors remained worried about China's post- pandemic stuttering recovery after data on Wednesday showed it tipped into deflation. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 0.5% and was set to clock a second straight week in the red.

A fresh dose of geopolitical tensions between U.S. and China has so far had limited immediate market reaction but time will tell how far-reaching the executive order signed by President Joe Biden will be.

The order, which targets private equity, venture capital, joint ventures and greenfield investments, will prohibit some new U.S. investment in China in sensitive technologies like computer chips and require government notification in other tech sectors.

In corporate news, Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS) said it would hike the prices of its streaming services as it reported a better than anticipated third quarter profit.

Japan's Sony (NYSE:SONY) reported a lacklustre first quarter, with the entertainment conglomerate posting dour performances in its movie and financial divisions.

The main event of the day, however, will be the U.S. inflation data.

U.S. CPI is forecast to show headline inflation picking up slightly in July to an annual 3.3%, while the core rate, which excludes the volatile food and energy segments, is forecast to rise by 0.2% in July, for an annual gain of 4.8%.


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With markets more or less expecting the Federal Reserve to be done with its interest rate-hikes, the data will help chart out the next steps from the central bank.

Key developments that could influence markets on Thursday:

Economic events: Inflation data from Norway, Italy, Portugal and the United States