Investing.com - Here are the top five things you need to know in financial markets on Wednesday, Feb. 27:
1. Trump, Kim Meet in Vietnam
U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will begin their second summit in less than a year when they meet in the Vietnamese capital, with the U.S. side seeking tangible steps by North Korea to dismantle its nuclear weapons program.
The White House said Trump would meet Kim at Hanoi's French-colonial-era Metropole Hotel and have a 20-minute one-on-one conversation before a dinner scheduled to last just over an hour and a half.
Ahead of the two leaders' meeting, Trump tweeted that North Korea could be as “thriving” as Vietnam if it was denuclearized, adding that the potential is “awesome.”
2. Powell Back on Capitol Hill
Investors looked ahead to a second appearance from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, after comments he made Tuesday reinforced views the central bank has shifted to a more “patient” approach to monetary policy.
He is due to testify in front of the House Financial Services Committee at 10:00AM ET.
In his first day of testimony to the Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday, Powell described the U.S. economic outlook as “generally favorable” but facing challenges from abroad.
Besides the Powell testimony, there is also pending home sales data for January as well as factory orders for December, both due at 10:00AM ET (15:00GMT).
The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a basket of six major currencies, was little changed, near its lowest since early February at 95.85 by 5:40AM ET (10:40 GMT).
3. U.S. Futures Point to Lower Open
U.S. stock futures pointed to a lower open, as investors looked ahead to a summit between President Trump and Kim Jong-un and another day of testimony from Jerome Powell.
The blue-chip Dow futures were down 75 points, or about 0.3%, the S&P 500 futures shed 7 points, or roughly 0.25%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a decline of 16 points, or around 0.2%.
In earnings, Lowe’s (NYSE:LOW), Best Buy (NYSE:BBY), TJX (NYSE:TJX), Campbell Soup (NYSE:CPB), Square (NYSE:SQ), Fitbit (NYSE:FIT), Box (NYSE:BOX), and Booking Holdings (NASDAQ:BKNG) are among some of the major companies due to publish their latest quarterly figures.
Elsewhere, European stocks were lower, snapping a three-day winning streak, with all continental bourses in the red. London's FTSE 100 fared the worst, down around 0.8%.
Earlier, Asian shares closed mixed, as sentiment was rattled by growing tensions between nuclear-armed India and Pakistan.
4. EIA's Weekly Oil Supply Report
In commodity markets, the U.S. Energy Information Administration will release its official weekly oil supplies report for the week ended Feb. 22 at 10:30AM ET (15:30 GMT).
Analysts expect the EIA to report a gain of around 2.8 million barrels in crude supplies. If confirmed, it would be the sixth straight weekly build in domestic oil inventories.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures were up 68 cents, or 1.2%, at $56.18 a barrel.
International Brent crude oil futures were at $65.88 per barrel, up 51 cents, or 0.7%.
5. Brexit Debate Continues in Parliament
Back in Europe, British Prime Minister Theresa May will update parliament on her progress towards securing a Brexit deal, giving lawmakers the chance to challenge her approach and vote on alternatives.
The debate is due to start at around 8:00AM ET (13:00 GMT).
May wants to negotiate changes to the departure deal she agreed with the European Union last year and has promised to bring it back for approval in parliament by March 12 at the latest.
She looks to have postponed a moment of reckoning in the deeply divided legislature by promising lawmakers they will be given the chance next month to block a no-deal Brexit and delay Britain's exit day if her agreement is rejected.
The pound rose 0.2% to reach a five-month high of 1.3287 against the dollar (GBP/USD). The British currency was also trading near 21-month highs against the euro (EUR/GBP).
-- Reuters contributed to this report