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New York, US (BBN) – Here are the top five things you need to know in financial markets on Thursday, April 6:
The main focus of the market on Thursday is the highly-anticipated meeting between US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping later in the day at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago retreat in Florida.
The two-day summit between the world’s two most powerful leaders is expected to cover differences over trade, currencies and North Korea.
Trump has repeatedly criticized China’s economic policies and pledged to label China a currency manipulator on the first day of his administration, but so far he has not.
Investors continued to digest minutes from the Federal Reserve’s March policy meeting released on Wednesday, which was viewed as relatively hawkish.
The minutes showed most policymakers thought the central bank should start unwinding its massive balance sheet later this year, much sooner than many had expected.
The Fed currently holds $4.5 trillion in bonds and actions to trim the balance sheet could have a major impact on markets given its magnitude. Fed Chair Janet Yellen indicated that such a move would be akin to a rate hike.
The Fed’s next policy meeting is scheduled for May 2-3 while investors currently expect another rate hike in June, according to’s Fed Rate Monitor Tool.
European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said on Thursday that he sees no need to deviate from the ECB’s current policy path, which includes bond buying at least until the end of the year and record-low rates until well after that to stimulate inflation
Draghi reiterated that the current monetary policy stance was still appropriate and the bank needed to see more signs that inflation was approaching its target before making any policy changes.
The euro sank to a three-week low of 1.0629 against dollar in wake of Draghi’s remarks. It was last at 1.0660 (EUR/USD).
Investor concerns about the Trump administration’s ability to deliver promised tax cuts were intensified by negative comments from lawmakers in Washington.
US House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan said Wednesday there was no consensus on tax reform and it would take longer to accomplish than healthcare.
The possibility of tax reform has been one of the main drivers in the stock market’s massive post-election rally, along with deregulation and infrastructure spending.
Meanwhile, deep divisions cut short Republican hopes for a quick revival of Obamacare replacement legislation on Wednesday, as Congress prepared to leave town for a two-week recess without a deal to end party infighting.
US stock market futures pointed to a muted open on Thursday morning, as investors stayed cautious ahead of an upcoming meeting between US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Wall Street shares reversed a rally and slipped on Wednesday, with the Dow posting its largest intraday downside reversal in 14 months, after the Fed minutes showed the central bank was concerned the stock market may be overvalued.
The US dollar index was little changed at around 100.50 in New York morning trade, while the 10-year US Treasury yield was at around at 2.35 per cent.
In Europe, stocks were mostly lower, with Germany’s DAX down around 0.5 per cent, while London’s FTSE 100 slumped 0.6 per cent.
Earlier, in Asia, markets ended mixed, with the Shanghai Composite in China closing up about 0.3 per cent, while Japan’s Nikkei sank 1.5 per cent.