U.S. Equity Markets fell as Jobless Claims picked up again, finishing yesterday’s session lower, led by the Dow’s fall of 1.59%. Markets opened higher before declining throughout the day. Jobless Claims rose again, coming in above estimates. This marks the third straight week of increases for jobless claims. Even with the increases, claims still are close to the post-pandemic low set earlier in the month. In terms of other economic data, Chicago Fed manufacturing PMI fell more than expected with weakness in order backlogs. Survey respondents also highlighted ongoing supply-chain issues. This continued the recent trend of choppy U.S. economic data, highlighting the ongoing volatility in the economic recovery. Congress was said to come to an agreement on a stopgap spending bill, keeping the government in operation into December. But the infrastructure bill, which is scheduled to be voted on today, still has an uncertain path. European Markets closed lower. European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde said it is paying close attention to recent price increases and there is no reason the issue won’t pass. French preliminary consumer price index (“CPI”) data for September was weaker than expected, declining versus August, as food and services costs contracted. Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey warned that ongoing supply-chain disruptions were hurting the country’s economic recovery. In Asia, China’s official manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (“PMI”) data for September fell into contraction territory, implying the government may need to increase economic support. People’s Bank of China Governor Yi Gang suggested to a meeting of local government officials they take steps to stabilise provincial housing markets and protect the rights of home buyers. Japan’s preliminary industrial production figures for August were weaker than anticipated, falling versus July, as supply-chain constraints hurt auto production. South Korea’s manufacturing confidence index numbers for October fell versus September as companies worried about weakening domestic demand. Elsewhere, Gold rallied 1.85% as Fed Chair Jerome Powell said that the U.S. economy was still far from full employment, indicating continued easy-money policies, while Bitcoin surged over 6% after Powell said that the Fed was not looking into banning cryptocurrencies.
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