A look at the day ahead in European and global markets from Ankur Banerjee

While market participants are almost certain that the Federal Reserve will hike in July, the always important U.S. inflation report due later on Wednesday will likely help dictate how many more hikes are left in the tank.

Economists polled by Reuters expect the consumer price index to have risen by 3.1% in June, after May’s 4% rise. The core rate is expected to have dropped for a third straight month to 5% from 5.3%. Still more than double the Fed’s target of 2%.

ING economists think the core rate would need to come in well below the forecast for a July rate hike to look doubtful.

“We don’t think that will happen.”

Markets are pricing in a 92.4% chance of a 25 bps hike in July, CME FedWatch tool showed. But after that it’s not too sure of another hike and that’s where Wednesday’s data comes in.

And before the data parsing ensues, markets have put on a risk-on hat with MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan climbing nearly 1% and set for a third straight day of gains. The dollar dipped against major currencies, touching a two-month low.

The yen continued its ascent, strengthening 0.6% to 139.60, dipping below 140 for the first time in a month as the short squeeze continues. Futures indicate European stocks are set to keep the exuberant mood going.

Meanwhile, Microsoft moved a step closer to completing its purchase of videogame maker Activision Blizzard, after a U.S. judge gave a thumbs-up to the $69 billion deal and a British regulator suggested it could reconsider its opposition. Shares of Playstation maker, Sony slid 1.7% and was the biggest drag on the Topix.

Elsewhere, the spotlight will also be on the Bank of Canada’s policy decision, with the central bank likely heading toward a second consecutive quarter-point interest rate hike.

In June, the central bank raised its overnight rate to a 22-year high of 4.75% after a five-month pause, saying monetary policy was not restrictive enough. It then said further moves would depend on economic data.

Key developments that could influence markets on Wednesday:

Economic events: June inflation report for Spain and Portugal

(Reporting by Ankur Banerjee in Singapore; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)

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