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Day Ahead: Top 3 Things to Watch

What to watch out for in tomorrow's session - Here’s a preview of the top 3 things that could rock markets tomorrow

1. Retail Sales To Rebound, Wholesale Inflation To Cool

Ahead of the Federal Reserve’s decision on interest rates slated for March 21, investors will turn to a duo of reports on the retail sales and wholesale inflation for clues on the underlying the strength of the U.S. economy.

Inflation at the wholesale level as measured by the producer price index is expected to have cooled to 0.2% in February from 0.4% in the prior month. The expected slowdown in wholesale inflation comes despite the latest ISM survey showing manufacturers saw input costs increase at the fastest pace in seven years.

Retail sales growth is forecast to rebound in February after a surprise slump in the previous month.

An above forecast reading could help life sentiment on the U.S. economy, helping the dollar recover some of its losses against a major basket of currencies Tuesday after turmoil in Washington weighed on sentiment.

2. OPEC Monthly Report, U.S. Crude Supply Totals To Confirm Bearish Outlook For Oil Prices?

OPEC is slated to release its monthly report Wednesday at 7.20 a.m. ET, outlining its estimates on global oil demand growth and output.

Non-OPEC output is expected to garner added investor attention after OPEC in its previous report February, revised upward its estimates for non-OPEC output. The US made up more than half of the non-OPEC upward revision.

A fresh batch of inventory data, meanwhile, from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Wednesday at 10.30 a.m. ET is expected to show that U.S. crude stockpiles rose for the third straight week.

Analysts forecast crude inventories rose by about 2.023 million barrels in the week ended March 9.

Crude oil futures settled sharply lower on Tuesday at $60.71 a barrel after the U.S. Energy Information Administration released a monthly report, forecasting shale output in April to rise to an all-time high.

3. All Eyes on Washington Turmoil, U.S. Tariffs

U.S. President Donald Trump showed no sign of easing his stance on tariffs amid a Reuters report Tuesday that the president is seeking to impose tariffs on $60 billion of Chinese imports, targeting the technology and telecommunications sectors.

This comes as Politico reported earlier that Trump had rejected proposals for tariffs on $30 billion of Chinese imports.

The threat of additional U.S. tariffs could stoke fears of a global trade war and weigh on investor appetite for risker assets at a time when investors are concerned over turmoil in Washington.

President Donald Trump fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Tuesday amid differing views over the best course of action on the Iran nuclear deal.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average slumped 171 points to close at 25,007.03.

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