U.S. Equity Markets bounced around to end the week, closing mixed after a quiet trading session, as the S&P closed higher by 0.15% while the NASDAQ Composite fell 0.02%. Markets were little changed throughout much of the day. Investors had a few headlines to digest. The China Evergrande saga continued, with reports that the company had missed its bond payment. And Democrats planned a vote for this week on the $3.5 trillion spending package. In terms of economic data, New Home Sales rose in August and beat estimates. This showed that there is still strong demand for homes. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell spoke Friday, saying that the supply-chain issues pushing up prices were a factor that have never been seen before at this magnitude. He added that the tapering of asset purchases will not be a clue for when the central bank will begin raising interest rates. European Markets closed lower. The European Commission confirmed it will move forward with an initial tech-trade summit focusing on semiconductor supply with the U.S. this week in Pittsburgh. Germany’s Ifo Institute for Economic Research said its business climate survey for September showed companies were growing increasingly sceptical about future work. European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde said that many of the causes of the current inflation spike will be temporary. The German Elections were held yesterday, resulting in the Social Democrats narrowly beating Angela Merkel’s CDU/CSU to secure a narrow win. In Asia, The People’s Bank of China added roughly $11 billion worth of liquidity to the financial system, bring the total to around $42 billion over the last three days. Markit Japan’s preliminary composite purchasing managers’ index (“PMI”) data for September rose versus August, as service-sector activity rebounded. The Bank of Korea said businesses and households should be able to manage another interest rate hike to 1%, as higher rates would help to maintain financial market stability. Taiwan’s central bank left interest rates unchanged but raised its growth outlook for this year from 5.1% to 5.75%, while boosting its inflation forecast from 1.6% to 1.7%. Elsewhere, Oil rose a further 0.97% as India continued to grow its crude imports, signalling strong demand, while Bitcoin fell 6%, as China moved to ban all crypto-related activities.
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