Global stocks struggle for clear direction after tech companies saw their shares tumble in the recent session. OPEC leaders are meeting in Vienna later today to discuss oil production agreements. Elsewhere, the Bitcoin saw big movements after rallying 20% just to lose it later that session. In the U.S., the Fed will digest the latest economic data to decide on future policy making. Here are the top things to know for today’s trading.
Global stock markets were mixed, weighed down by a big fall in tech shares.
Most Asian-Pacific markets ended lower, as technology stocks in the region declined after U.S. shares in the sector sold off.
In Europe, most of the region's bourses were slightly higher in mid-morning trade, as gains in the financial sector provided support.
On Wall Street, U.S. stock futures pointed to a small step higher at the open. The Nasdaq posted its biggest one-day drop in more than three months on Wednesday as investors fled high-flying technology stocks and shifted to banks.
Oil ministers from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and officials from other major global producers, most importantly Russia, will meet in Vienna to decide whether to extend their current production agreement beyond a March 2018 deadline.
A closed session of just OPEC ministers and the secretary general is scheduled to begin at 11:00 GMT, according to the agenda posted on OPEC's website. This will be followed at 14:00 GMT by a combined meeting of OPEC and non-OPEC ministers and delegates.
After that, there will be a joint news conference by the president of the OPEC conference, Russia's energy minister and the OPEC secretary general.
Most market analysts expect the oil cartel to extend output cuts for a further nine months until the end of next year, but the terms were so far unclear, as Russia has sent mixed signals about whether it will back the move.
Under the original terms of the deal, OPEC and 11 other non-OPEC producers, led by Russia, agreed to cut output by about 1.8 million barrels per day for the first six months of 2017. The agreement was extended in May of this year for a period of nine months until March 2018 in a bid to reduce global oil inventories and support oil prices.
The price of the digital currency Bitcoin reclaimed the $10,000-level, having rallied as much as 20% from its Wednesday low, easing concern that a sudden selloff in the cryptocurrency might spiral into something deeper.
Bitcoin was at around $10,070 on the U.S.-based Bitfinex exchange, up 3% on the day.
The digital currency climbed as high as $11,441 on Wednesday, the highest level in its nine-year history, before collapsing by almost 21% to a low of $9,001. The drop was triggered in part by intermittent outages at leading cryptocurrency exchanges.
Bitcoin, which started 2017 at about $1,000 and broke through $5,000 in October has risen almost 1,100% so far this year as investors in the digital currency shrug off warnings of a bubble.
The Commerce Department will publish data personal income and consumer spending for October, which include the personal consumption expenditures (PCE) inflation data, the Fed's preferred metric for inflation, at 13:30 GMT.
The consensus forecast is that the report will show that the core PCE price index inched up 0.2% last month. On an annualized basis, core PCE prices are expected to rise 1.4%.
The Federal Reserve uses core PCE as a tool to help determine whether to raise or lower interest rates, with the aim of keeping inflation at a rate of 2% or below.
Besides the data, comments from Federal Reserve Governor Randal Quarles and Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan will also be on the agenda.
The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six major rival currencies, was a touch higher near the 93.30-level.