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Top 5 Things to Know in the Market on Thursday

Investing.com - Here are the top five things you need to know in financial markets on Thursday, December 6:

1. Huawei Arrest Spooks Markets

Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer at the Chinese smartphone company Huawei and daughter of its founder was arrested in Canada on Saturday, following an extradition request by the U.S. Her arrest is related to an investigation into whether or not she violated sanctions against Iran.

China has criticized the U.S. and Canada for the arrest and demanded her immediate release.

News of the arrest, coming less than a week after U.S. President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping agreed to a 90-day trade truce, threatened to reignite the trade clash between the world’s two largest economies.

Market sentiment had initially been boosted by the trade ceasefire, but the mood quickly soured on skepticism that the two sides can reach a substantive deal within the 90-day timeframe.

2. U.S. Futures Point to Sharply Lower Open

U.S. stock futures pointed to a sharply lower open on Wall Street, with Dow futures tumbling more than 450 points as concerns over U.S.-Sino relations and a possible U.S. economic slowdown weighed.

At 5:45AM ET (1035GMT), the blue-chip Dow futures fell around 480 points, or about 1.9%, the S&P 500 futures lost 49 points, or around 1.85%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 futures shed 167 points, or 2.46%.

The losses came as U.S. stock and Treasury markets reopened after being closed on Wednesday to mark the death of former President George H.W. Bush.

On Tuesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell almost 800 points, its largest one-day decline since Oct. 10.

Worries about a U.S. economic slowdown hit markets this week after an inversion in a part of the U.S. Treasury yield curve triggered concerns about U.S. economic weakness. A flatter curve is seen as an indicator of a slowing economy.

3. Oil Prices Slide Before OPEC Meeting

Oil prices fell following reports that Saudi Arabia’s energy minister proposed a smaller-than-expected output cut at the upcoming OPEC meeting.

Brent crude futures were down $2.40, or around 3.91%, to $59.15 per barrel, while WTI crude futures were at $50.88 per barrel, down $2.03, or about 3.89%.

Oil ministers from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Russia and other major producing countries will meet in Vienna on Thursday and Friday to review their current production agreement, with a decision due Friday.

OPEC officials have been making increasingly frequent public statements that the cartel and its partners would start withholding crude in 2019 to tighten supply and prop up prices.

According to recent reports, OPEC and its allies are working towards a deal to reduce oil output by at least 1.3 million barrels per day (bpd).

Besides OPEC, fresh weekly data on U.S. commercial crude inventories will also capture the market's attention. The U.S. Energy Information Administration will release its official weekly oil supplies report for the week ended November 30 at 11:00AM ET (16:00 GMT). It comes out a day later than usual because of Wednesday’s national day of mourning.

4.ADP, ISM and U.S. jobless claims data on tap

Investors will be paying close attention to private sector employment numbers ahead of Friday’s government nonfarm payrolls report.

The ADP private-sector payrolls numbers come out at 8:15 AM ET (12:15 GMT). On average, economists expect that November payrolls to come in at 196,000, down from 227,000 the month before.

The weekly jobless claims numbers will be published at 8:30 AM ET (12:30 GMT) and economists expect that claims for first-time unemployment benefits decreased to 226,000 from 234,000 the week before.

At 10:00 AM ET (14:00 GMT), the ISM will release its measure of November services activity. The ISM non-manufacturing PMI is expected to have ticked down to 59.2 last month from 60.3 in October.

5. Yen Gains as Risk Aversion Rises

The yen strengthened as safe haven demand for the Japanese currency was bolstered by widespread risk aversion in markets. The yen is often sought by investors as a refuge during times of market or geopolitical turbulence.

USD/JPY was last down 0.4% to 112.74 after falling as low as 112.58 overnight, while EUR/JPY was off 0.52% at 127.75.

The euro was a touch lower against the dollar, with EUR/USD dipping 0.12% to 1.1329 after retreating from this week's high of 1.1419 scaled on Tuesday.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a basket of six major currencies, was little changed at 97.06.

The pound was steady, with GBP/USD last changing hands at 1.2741 as investors braced for a key parliamentary vote on the Brexit deal on December 11, amid doubts over whether the vote will pass.

-- Reuters contributed to this report

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