MORNING BID-U.S. retail sales, bank earnings and some rouble trouble

·2 min read

A look at the day ahead from Dhara Ranasinghe. It's down to a slew of U.S. economic data, including retail sales, and earnings from the likes of Bank of America, Citigroup and BlackRock to shake world stock markets out of the funk that appears to have set in the last 24 hours.

Global stocks are in a defensive mood, edging down from recent record highs. That follows a mixed close on Wall Street where newly-listed Coinbase finished up 52%, down quite a bit from its intraday highs of $429.54 on Nasdaq.

Trade in stock futures suggest a soft open in Europe, U.S. stock futures are trading mixed.

After U.S. banks' stellar results on Wednesday -- the first day of earnings season -- focus turns to the next batch of earnings.

March retail sales data could also be a potential market move, testing the recent calm in U.S. bond markets. Economists polled by Reuters forecast a 5.9% rise, month-on-month.

Industrial production data and the Empire State manufacturing survey are also on the calendar. So are weekly jobless claims numbers, which have risen in recent weeks, counter to signs of a recovery in labour markets.

And with currency investors increasingly convinced by the Federal Reserve's argument that interest rates will stay low for some time, any further signs of economic rebound could help shore up the dollar.

The greenback is languishing at new four-week lows against a basket of other major currencies.

Staying with currencies, Russia's rouble sank more than 1% to 76.65 per dollar on reports the U.S. will announce sanctions on Russia as soon as Thursday for alleged election interference and malicious cyber activity.

Elsewhere, South Korea's central bank kept interest rates at record lows of 0.5%.

Key developments that should provide more direction to markets on Thursday:

- US corp earnings: Blackrock, Pepsi, Bancorp, Bank of America, Delta Air, Citi, Charles Schwab, Alcoa.

- Riksbank governor Ingves speaks.

- BOJ governor Kuroda says Japan's economy picking up but any recovery likely to be modest due to coronavirus pandemic.

- German harmonised inflation +2.0% y/y in March.

- China's Tencent plans to raise up to $4 billion in a bond launched Thursday - sources.

- Central bank of Turkey meets.

(Reporting by Dhara Ranasinghe; editing by Thyagaraju Adinarayan)