10 things you need to know in markets today
It's PMI day in Europe. Between 8.15 a.m BST and 9.15 a.m BST we'll be getting readings on the service sectors of key Eurozone economies, as well as a composite reading to give an indication of how fast each country is growing or contracting.
It's a big day for the European Central Bank. The ECB will announce its latest interest rate decision at 12.45 p.m BST, followed by a press conference and policy statement at 1.30 p.m BST. Analysts say the central bank may have to consider additional measures to stave off deflation.
US unemployment figures are coming. Analysts are forecasting 275,000 initial jobless claims in August, compared to 271,000 in July. Figures are due at 1.30 p.m BST.
US stock markets rallied at the close, ending a 3-day losing streak. The Dow closed up 1.82%, the S&P 500 up 1.83%, and the Nasdaq up 2.64%.
Asian markets are mixed. Japan's Nikkei is up 0.73% at time of writing, while the Hang Seng is down 1.14%. Chinese markets are closed today and tomorrow for a public holiday.
European retail sales are coming. At 10 a.m we'll get figures for retail sales growth in Europe in July. Economists are predicting a 2% rise on last year's figure and a 0.6% increase compared to June.
Activity in Japan's services sector expanded at the fastest pace in almost two years in August. The Markit/Nikkei Japan Services Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) rose to a seasonally adjusted 53.7 from 51.2 in July to reach the highest since October 2013. Anything above 50 signals growth.
The IMF says China's economic slowdown is having a broader impact on the global economy than originally expected, especially on emerging markets. In a report released late Wednesday it said the turmoil in China and other factors like capital flow reversals were increasing the risks to economic growth around the world.
Toshiba is likely to post a net loss of about 10 billion yen (£54.2 million, $83 million) when it reports its financial 2014/15 earnings as early as this week, Japan's Yomiuri daily reported, amid a probe into improper accounting at the company. An independent probe found the company had overstated its profits by $1.2 billion (£780 million) over several years.
The US economy is still expanding, according to the US Federal Reserve's latest Beige Book report. The Beige Book is a collection of anecdotal economic observations from each of the Fed's 12 regions.
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