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Top 5 Things to Know In the Market on Wednesday


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Top 5 Things to Know In the Market on Wednesday
EconomyMar 23, 2016 06:00AM ET

© Reuters. Top 5 Things to Know Today In Financial Markets

Investing.com - Here are the top five things you need to know in financial markets on Wednesday, March 23:

1. European stocks rise as markets recover from Belgium attacks

European stocks gained ground Wednesday, with travel-related shares recovering a day after the deadly bombings in Brussels. Germany’s DAX pushed up 1%, while France’s CAC40 added 0.7%.

Meanwhile, U.S. stock futures pointed to muted open, with few fresh catalysts expected to steer market direction in a quiet holiday-shortened trading week.

Earlier, markets in Asia closed mostly lower as investors reacted to overnight news of the deadly attacks in Brussels, that left at least 31 people dead and 260 people injured.

2. Hawkish Fed talk drives U.S. dollar to 1-week high

The U.S. dollar rose to a one-week high against a basket of major currencies on Wednesday, boosted by hawkish comments by Federal Reserve officials.

Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker said late on Tuesday that the central bank should consider another interest rate hike as early as next month and added that he would prefer at least three hikes before year-end.

Meanwhile, Chicago Fed President Charles Evans said he expects two more rate increases this year, if the economy remains on track.

The market will be paying attention to a speech by St. Louis Fed President James Bullard later in the day to further judge the balance of opinion among policymakers on the prospect of further rate hikes.

3. U.S. oil futures edge lower ahead of weekly supply data

Oil prices were lower on Wednesday, amid speculation weekly supply data due later in the session will show U.S. crude inventories rose at a faster pace than expected last week.

U.S. crude was down 31 cents, or 0.75%, to $41.14, by 10:00GMT, or 6:00AM ET, while Brent shed 19 cents, or 0.45%, at $41.60 a barrel.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration will release its weekly report on oil supplies at 14:30GMT, or 10:30AM ET, amid expectations for a gain of 3.0 million barrels.

After markets closed Tuesday, the American Petroleum Institute, an industry group, said that U.S. oil inventories rose by 8.8 million barrels in the week ended March 18, significantly more than forecasts for a gain of 2.7 million barrels.

4. British pound under pressure amid Brexit fears

The pound continued to fall against the dollar and the euro on Wednesday, as the attacks in Brussels were seen as increasing the chances of a British exit from the European Union in a June 23 referendum.

The Bank of England’s Financial Policy Committee, which is charged with safeguarding financial stability, was to hold its final meeting before the referendum later Wednesday.

5. Credit Suisse ramps up cost cuts

Credit Suisse Group (SIX:CSGN) on Wednesday announced 800 million Swiss francs ($821 million) in additional cost cuts and plans to shrink its investment bank further as it spurs a restructuring plan aimed at revitalizing its earnings.

The cuts include eliminating 2,000 jobs at its Global Markets business to better weather challenging market conditions, Switzerland's second-largest bank said.

Chief Executive Tidjane Thiam, who took over at Credit Suisse ‎from British insurer Prudential (LON:PRU) last July, is five months into implementing his new strategy.