Here are the top five things you need to know in financial markets on Thursday, April 27:
1. Global stocks pull back on Trump tax plan disappointment
Global stock markets edged lower on Thursday, as a long-awaited U.S. tax cut plan from the Trump Administration failed to inspire investors, who were disappointed by the lack of new details.
Asian equities eased from a near two-year high, with Japan’s Nikkei closing down about 0.2%, while the Shanghai Composite in China tacked on around 0.4%.
In Europe, stocks declined in mid-morning trade, moving away from multi-year highs, with Germany’s DAX down 0.3%, while London’s FTSE 100 slumped 0.7%.
On Wall Street, the blue-chip Dow futures eased up 8 points to 20,983 by 5:25AM ET (09:25GMT), the S&P 500 futures dipped 2 points, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 futures fell 2 points.
The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six rival currencies, was at 98.85 in New York morning trade, not far from the prior session’s five-month low of 98.61.
2. ECB policy decision, Draghi press conference eyed
The European Central Bank’s latest interest rate decision is due at 11:45GMT (7:45AM ET) on Thursday. Most of the focus will likely be on President Mario Draghi’s press conference45 minutes after the announcement.
The ECB is set to keep its ultra-easy policy stance firmly in place but may acknowledge better growth prospects, setting the stage for a small signal as early as June about an eventual reduction of stimulus amid receding political risk after the first round of France’s presidential vote put a pro-euro centrist in pole position.
The single currency was steady against the dollar at 1.0903 (EUR/USD). Against the British pound, the euro lost about 0.4% to 0.8455 (EUR/GBP).
3. ‘Big Tech’ earnings ahead
Thursday’s blast of high-profile earnings, including big tech bellwethers, could help set the stage for new stock market highs in the days ahead.
Companies slated to report ahead of the opening bell include Ford (NYSE:F), Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA), UPS (NYSE:UPS), Dow Chemical (NYSE:DOW), Under Armour (NYSE:UAA), American Airlines (NASDAQ:AAL), Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE:BMY) and Raytheon (NYSE:RTN) to name a few.
But some of the tech names that have led the market’s gains in recent months report after the closing bell and could offer further impetus to markets. That includes Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN), up 21% year to date, and Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL), which has risen 12%.
Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), Intel (NASDAQ:INTC), Expedia (NASDAQ:EXPE), Baidu (NASDAQ:BIDU), GoPro (NASDAQ:GPRO) and Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) also report after the close.
On the data front, Thursday’s calendar includes March durable goods orders, weekly jobless claims and advanced trade figures, all at 8:30AM ET (12:30GMT). At 10AM ET, the U.S. will release a report on pending home sales.
Economists have been cutting forecasts for first-quarter GDP, expected Friday, in the wake of a recent string of disappointing data.
4. Canadian dollar, Mexican peso bounce back on NAFTA relief
The Canadian dollar and Mexican peso, which had slumped late Wednesday on reports the U.S. is considering withdrawing from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), bounced back after Trump said he would not scrap the pact but renegotiate instead.
The Canadian dollar rose 0.3% to 1.3575 against its U.S. counterpart (USD/CAD). The loonie had initially weakened to a 14-month low of 1.3646 late Wednesday.
The Mexican currency strengthened 0.9% to 19.00 pesos per dollar after sinking to a more than one-month low of 19.22 overnight (USD/MXN).
5. Oil sell-off resumes
Oil prices slumped on Thursday, falling back toward the lowest level in more than a month amid fears that an ongoing rebound in U.S. shale production could derail efforts by other major producers to rebalance global oil supply and demand.
U.S. crude was down 43 cents, or around 0.9%, to $49.19 a barrel in early New York morning trade, while Brent lost 47 cents to $51.94.
Weekly supply data on Wednesday showed U.S. gasoline supplies unexpectedly increased, while crude output kept rising.