European stocks are expected to open mixed on Thursday as oil prices resumed downward trend after disappointing inventory data and investors remain largely on the sidelines in anticipation of the U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen’s speech due later within the day. Yellen, is due to testify about the economic outlook before Congress’s Joint Economic Committee.
Asian stock markets are also headed for a mixed close today amid cautious trades following the lackluster cues overnight from Wall Street and the rise in crude oil prices. Japan’s Nikkei closed flat for the day while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 added 0.2 percent to close at 5338.54. China A50 also added 0.2 percent to close at 10077.34, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng is currently trading 0.4 percent lower at 22201.00 while India’s Nifty 50 added 0.1 percent at 8119.40 as of 7:40 GMT.
JPMorgan Chase is due to pay over $250 million as a settlement with US regulators against accusations that the banking giant had hired children of Chinese leaders to win business. The bank will be paying around $130 million to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and about $70 million to the Justice Department while it will also pay more than $50 million to the Federal Reserve. U.S. authorities are expected to make official announcements regarding the settlement as soon as on Thursday. It is also worth noting that the settlement will end a three-year probe into whether the bank’s hires violated US anti-bribery laws.
Crude oil futures plunged today after official inventory reports indicated a larger-than-expected rise in U.S. oil stockpiles. Specifically, crude rose by 5.3 million barrels in the week to Nov. 11, while expectations pointed to an increase of 1.5 million barrels. According to data released by the U.S. Energy Information Administration on Wednesday, the climb in inventories was mainly due to higher imports of 910,000 barrels per day (bpd). As a result of the overflowing stock piles Crude oil futures were last seen trading 0.6 percent lower at $45.30 while Brent oil futures dipped 0.6 percent at $46.33 as of 7:40 GMT.