U.S. Equity Markets surged on Friday, reversing earlier losses to close higher, led by the Dow’s 1.43% gain. Markets opened strong and remained higher throughout the day. The big news of the day was Merck’s COVID-19 treatment, which comes in pill form. This could be a huge driver in lowering hospitalisations and serious COVID-19 cases. Congress passed a continuing resolution to keep the government funded into early December and avoid a shutdown that could have weighed on the domestic growth outlook. Economic data was strong, with the September ISM Manufacturing Index coming in above estimates and August’s reading. Meanwhile, Consumer Sentiment rose from the initial reading, with consumers seeing the recent inflation spike as temporary. There was nothing really new from Federal Reserve speakers, with Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker saying that he sees the first interest rate hike coming in late 2022 or early 2023. European Markets closed lower. European Central Bank Governing Council member Pablo Hernandez de Cos said the region needs to consider a banking union to strengthen capital markets and support economic growth. Euro-Zone preliminary consumer price index (“CPI”) data for September was in line with expectations, rising versus August, as manufacturers are passing costs onto consumers. U.K. factory production experienced its worst month since February, as supply-chain disruptions hurt output. In Asia, Chinese Vice Premier Han Zheng was said to instruct a meeting of state-owned energy producers to secure plenty of resources to avoid rolling blackouts this winter. The Bank of Japan’s Quarterly Tankan survey indicated business sentiment continues to improve, as survey respondents expect capital expenditures to increase. China’s new home prices grew at the slowest pace since March of last year, as the government is trying to ease leverage and drive speculators out of the market. South Korea’s export data for September was stronger than expected due to strong demand for technology-related goods. Elsewhere, Oil rose 0.93% ahead of next week’s OPEC production meeting, while Bitcoin rose 10% on little news.
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