U.S. Equity Markets closed lower despite strong economic data, led again by the Small Cap Russell 2000, ending yesterday with a loss of 1.53%. Markets fell for the second straight day. Jobs data were one of the reasons for the selling. Jobless Claims rose and came in above estimates. And the four-week moving average picked up once again. This sparked concerns over a continually choppy job market, which could hamper the broader economy’s recovery. Vaccine news was mixed. PFE said that its vaccine was effective against variants, but was less effective against the South African variant. But the company also said it was working to develop a booster shot. In other economic data, Building Permits hit another near 15-year high, indicating continued strength in the housing market. European Markets also closed lower. Bank of England Economist Michael Saunders said the labour market is the best gauge of economic recovery, adding that he expects more Unemployment when government assistance ends. European Union Commissioner for Trade Vladis Dombrovskis said it would take a tougher stance in trade negotiations going forward, focusing on climate change. Pfizer and BioNTech were said to be behind on their agreement to supply the U.K. with coronavirus vaccine, coming about 10 million doses short. European Union coronavirus vaccinations rose to 23.3 million yesterday, with a daily average of 683,100 doses administered over the last week. Elsewhere, Oil closed 1.83% lower on profit-taking after a recent surge to 13-month highs, while Gold closed flat after a volatile trading session.
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