U.S. Equity Markets were somewhat mixed on Wednesday, finishing the day largely higher, despite selling off into the close. While the NASDAQ 100 closed 0.19% higher, the Dow again finished with a small loss (-0.14%). Payroll processor ADP’s monthly employment data for August came up short of expectations ahead of Friday’s important jobs report. If we see a similar reading tomorrow, that could delay the Federal Reserve’s need to ease monthly bond purchases. The Commerce Department said that construction spending rose by 0.3% in July after being unchanged in June. Construction spending also increased by 9% versus the year prior in July. The Institute for Supply Management (“ISM”) reported that U.S. manufacturing activity unexpectedly increased in August amid strong order growth. However, a measure for factory employment fell to a nine-month low due to the ongoing labour shortage. European Markets closed higher. European Central Bank Governing Council member Yannis Stournaras said it should not be in a rush to react to the recent inflation increase following next week’s policy meeting. He feels the gains are temporary and that pulling back on economic stimulus too soon would be a mistake. Markit Euro-Zone’s final manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (“PMI”) data for August was in-line with the initial reading, as unfilled orders hit a record. The European Union said it hit its target of 70% of adults vaccinated, possibly boosting the economic outlook. European Central Bank Vice President Luis de Guindos said the central bank will maintain favorable financing conditions but will investigate removing stimulus when it is appropriate. European Union COVID-19 vaccinations increased to 529.9 million through yesterday, with more than 249.4 million individuals having been fully inoculated. In Asia, former Bank of Japan Assistant Governor Kazuo Momma said the country’s Central Bank will continue to introduce economic stimulus no matter who wins the upcoming election. Caixin China’s manufacturing PMI data for August unexpectedly contracted, hitting the lowest level since February of last year, as new orders dropped for the second straight month. South Korea’s export figures for August exceeded expectations, rising compared to July, with the Trade Ministry saying August saw its highest value total on record. Markit Taiwan’s manufacturing PMI reading for August saw the rate of growth ease versus July, as supply-chain woes constrained factory production. Elsewhere, Oil fell 0.32% as the U.S. reported a larger-than-expected build in gasoline inventories, while Bitcoin rose 3% after mutual fund Franklin Templeton said it is looking to hire to expand its cryptocurrency operations.
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