U.S. Equity Markets were choppy to end the week, finishing Friday’s session lower, led by the NASDAQ 100 which finished with a loss of 0.51%. Jobs data was the big story of the day. The Bureau of Labour Statistics’ Non-Farm Payroll data for September showed 194,000 new hires versus the expectation for 500,000 and the prior month’s upwardly revised 366,000. The numbers signal the pace of economic growth is slowing. But the Unemployment Rate fell more than expected to 4.8%. The implication is this could push back the Federal Reserve’s timeline on winding down its $120 billion in monthly purchases of Treasurys’ and mortgage-backed securities. Now, all eyes turn to earnings season, which unofficially kicks off this week with reports from the big banks. European Markets closed mixed. German Export data for August unexpectedly declined, as trade with the U.K. fell off and the comparisons grow more difficult compared with last year. Bank of England Chief Economist Huw Pill said inflation will stick around for longer than expected, citing staffing shortages and supply-chain problems. European Central Bank Chief Economist Philip Lane stated inflation is far from a sustainable move above the central bank’s 2% target, saying recent energy price increases could hurt growth. In Asia, Markit/Caixin’s China composite Purchasing Managers’ Index (“PMI”) data for September rose versus August, moving back into expansion territory as services sector activity rebounded. The Bank of Japan lowered its quarterly economic outlook for five of the country’s nine regions due to COVID-19 restrictions, implying easy-money policies will remain in place for some time. Communications-equipment giant Samsung Electronics reported preliminary third-quarter operating profit and sales were in line with expectations due to semiconductor and mobile-phone demand. Taiwan’s export figures for September were stronger than expected due to continued strength in semiconductor demand. Elsewhere, Oil rose again by 1.66% after the Department of Energy said it had no plans to sell crude from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, while Bitcoin rose 1% on news that Bakkt’s crypto-linked debit card would soon be available on Google Pay.
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