Forgot Login?   Sign up  

The world is keeping track on hurricane Irma, one of the biggest storms in human history.

Here are 4 tips for today's trading. This will help you decide where you should invest and what to look for:

 

The world is keeping track on hurricane Irma, one of the biggest storms in human history.

Here are 4 tips for today's trading. This will help you decide where you should invest and what to look for:

 

1. All eyes on the ECB

The main focus of the day is the European Central Bank's latest interest rate decision due at 11:45 GMT.

Most of the focus will be on President Mario Draghi's press conference 45 minutes after the announcement, as investors look for more clues on when and how the ECB could start unwinding its massive quantitative easing program.

While Draghi is expected to lay the groundwork for stimulus reduction, most investors appear to believe he will hold off until October to make any major announcements. Announcing new staff forecasts, policymakers will likely upgrade the ECB's growth outlook and reduce inflation projections but only slightly.

Having already expressed concern about the rise of the euro in July, policymakers may also repeat their warning about the currency moving too quick.

2. Florida braces for Hurricane Irma

Traders remained wary of Hurricane Irma, ranked as one of the five most powerful Atlantic hurricanes in the last 80 years. The Category 5 hurricane battered Puerto Rico and devastated a chain of small Caribbean islands late on Wednesday.

The storm system is forecast to hit Florida by Sunday afternoon, a prospect that has roiled orange juice and gasoline futures markets as well as shares of insurance providers.

Some believe Irma can turn into the most expensive hurricane in U.S. history, with Barclays estimating insured losses in a worst-case scenario at a whopping $130 billion. Adding to concerns, there are two more tropical storms on Irma's heels.

Jose, heading for the Caribbean, strengthened to a hurricane and could become a major Category 3 storm by Friday, while Katia churned in the Gulf of Mexico, threatening to come ashore in Mexico.

3. Global stocks bounce back

Global stock markets were mostly higher, as appetite for riskier assets improved after U.S. President Donald Trump and congressional leaders unexpectedly agreed to raise the government debt limit until December.

The positive development was seen as eliminating the near-term risk of a government shutdown.

Stock markets across Asia closed on a relatively mixed to positive note, with benchmarks in Tokyo and Seoul closing higher, while markets in mainland China slumped.

In Europe, shares inched broadly higher, with Germany's DAX up around 0.6% in mid-morning trade.

Meanwhile, U.S. stock futures pointed to a modestly lower open on Wall Street, with the major benchmarks down around 0.1%.

4. Oil supply data on tap

The U.S. Energy Information Administration will release its official weekly oil supplies report at 15:00 GMT. Analysts expect crude oil inventories rose by around 4.0 million barrels at the end of last week.

Meanwhile, gasoline supplies are seen decreasing by 5.0 million barrels and distillates are forecast to fall 3.0 million barrels.

After markets closed Wednesday, the American Petroleum Institute said that U.S. oil inventories rose by about 2.8 million barrels in the week ended September 1. The API report also showed a drop of 2.5 million barrels in gasoline stocks, while distillate stocks fell by 600,000 barrels.

The data was published a day later than usual due to Monday’s Labor Day holiday. There are often sharp divergences between the API estimates and the official figures from EIA.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were a shade higher at $49.22 barrel, within sight of a four-week high reached in the previous session.

Brent crude futures, the benchmark for oil prices outside the U.S., added 29 cents to touch a more than three-month peak of $54.49 a barrel.