U.S. Equity Markets rose as the Federal Reserve teased plans for asset purchase tapering, finishing the day higher led by the NASDAQ 100 which closed higher by 0.77%. Inflation data was the big driver of the afternoon. The Consumer Price Index (“CPI”) rose 5.4% in September from the same period last year. That was above the 5.3% estimate and well above the Federal Reserve’s 2% target. This drove a lot of the choppiness early in the session, as investors digested what this could mean for central bank policy. In the evening, the Fed’s Minutes from the most recent meeting took centre stage. In the Minutes, the Fed said it could start tapering its asset purchases as soon as November. That is just about in line with what Wall Street has been expecting and is we saw markets hold on to their gains into the close – the Fed is not being seen as withdrawing support too quickly. Earnings season got off to a good start, with JPMorgan Chase (JPM) topping both earnings and revenue estimates, while also making positive comments on consumer spending. Earnings will continue to be a catalyst for markets in the coming weeks. European Markets closed lower. German application software giant SAP raised its full-year cloud and software revenue outlook by 200 million euros, saying it was seeing record adoption of its products and platform. Euro-Zone Industrial Production data for August was stronger than expected but fell versus July, due to supply issues for German automakers. French President Emmanuel Macron announced a new $33 billion plan to revive the country’s industrial production and support economic growth. In Asia, China’s export figures for September exceeded expectations, rising versus August, on record demand as transportation delays likely pulled forward holiday spending. Japan’s government was said to consider easing the approval system for COVID treatments and vaccines to increase emergency use. Apple suppliers dropped after Bloomberg reported the ongoing semiconductor supply shortage will cause the iPhone maker to reduce fourth-quarter production by 10 million units. South Korea’s unemployment rate for September was in line with expectations, as the economy added the most jobs in a month since March 2014 on coronavirus vaccine uptake. Elsewhere, Gold rose 1.90% on Dollar weakness, while Bitcoin jumped 4% as Fidelity said that the cryptocurrency could hit $100,000 in the next few years.
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