Here are the top five things you need to know in financial markets on Thursday, June 13:



1. Oil prices jump after suspected tanker attack in Gulf of Oman

Oil prices jumped more than 2% on Thursday after reports of attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman.

Crew members were evacuated from the ships which were near the Strait of Hormuz, a major strategic waterway through which a fifth of global oil consumption passes from Middle East producers.

The news sparked a recovery in oil prices that had plunged nearly 4% on Wednesday after a surprising and large increase in U.S. crude inventories spurred further concerns over the state of demand.

OPEC is expected to release its monthly oil market report at 6:40 AM ET (10:40 GMT) on Thursday which will provide the cartel’s outlook on supply and demand.


2. China calls for more stimulus amid trade standoff

China’s Vice Premier Liu He on Thursday called for regulators to increase economic support and provide ample liquidity to the world’s second-largest economy as it digs in for a protracted dispute with the U.S.

Beijing has plenty of policy tools and is capable of dealing with various challenges, Reuters reported Liu as saying at a financial forum in Shanghai.

Liu’s remarks suggest China is preparing further economic policies to bolster growth to offset the impact on its export sector from U.S. tariffs and boycotts.

China's Commerce Ministry said on Thursday Beijing will not yield to any "maximum pressure" from Washington, and any attempt by the U.S. to force China into accepting a trade deal will fail.


3. Global stocks overshadowed by oil developments

Global stocks were mixed as market participants focused on headlines surrounding the suspected tanker attacks.

U.S. futures pointed to a higher open, anticipating a bounce in energy stocks that have taken a battering in recent days. Investors will likely continue to weigh any rising tension on trade issues against hopes that the Federal Reserve will ease monetary policy. Dow futures gained 77 points, or 0.3% by 5:38 AM ET (9:38 GMT), S&P 500 futures rose 9 points, or 0.3%, while Nasdaq 100 futures traded up 35 points, or 0.5%.

Elsewhere, European stocks climbed as the region’s second big auction of 5G spectrum drove telecoms higher and oil producers benefited from the surge in crude prices.

Asian shares ended mixed although Hong Kong’s Hang Seng ended flat, putting an end to Wednesday’s slide caused by violence between protestors and police over an extradition bill.


4. Expectations for Fed rate hike in July tick higher ahead of data

Thursday’s economic calendar will produce weekly jobless claims along with forecasts for easing price pressures on both imports and exports. Both reports will be released at 8:30 AM ET (12:30 GMT).

Although the Fed is expected to stand pat on interest rates in its policy decision next week, markets have steadily increased bets that the U.S. central bank will move to cut at the following July meeting as worries over Sino-U.S. trade tensions dent the global economy.

Read moreJuly Rate Cut? Wait For Fed’s Complete Capitulation To Get Aggressive - Gary Gordon

Fed fund futures priced in a quarter-point reduction on July 31 at 87%, up from 68% last week and around 26% a month ago.

A weak employment report released last Friday and tame inflation measure reached this week have helped to cement those expectations.


5. New stock listings on watch: Alibaba , Fiverr and Chewy

Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) was reported to have confidentially filed for a Hong Kong listing that could take place as soon as the third quarter. Speculation last month suggested the Chinese e-commerce company could raise as much as $20 billion in a move that offers it a measure of insurance against any possible crackdown on Chinese companies listed in the U.S.

Fiverr meanwhile priced its initial public offering at $21 on Thursday, above last week’s projection of $18-$20. The IPO price will raise $110 million for the Israeli-based online freelancer platform, valuing the gig-economy company at $650 million. Shares should start trading this Friday on Wall Street with the ticker FVRR.

Meanwhile, online pet-food company Chewy raised its target range late Wednesday to $19 to $21 a share from $17 to $19. It's expected to price after the closing bell Thursday and start trading Friday under the ticker CHWY.


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