U.S. Equity Markets traded in a narrow range yesterday before closing the session lower, led by the NASDAQ which fell 0.35%. Markets fell on another quiet day. St. Louis Federal Reserve President James Bullard made headlines with his interview with the Financial Times. Bullard said that he is still in favour of beginning the Central Bank’s asset purchase taper soon, despite the weak August jobs report. He added that he would like to see the Fed completely withdraw from asset purchases in the first half of next year. This sentiment was later echoed by New York Fed President John Williams, who said that his decision on when to taper has not changed after the August jobs report. In terms of economic data, Job Openings hit another record high, signalling that businesses are still looking to hire. European Markets Declined. German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union party saw polling numbers hit a post-war low ahead of the September 26 general election. This indicates potential political uncertainty in the country in the coming months. European Central Bank Governing Council member Robert Holzmann said the central bank could tighten policy quicker than expected because of an increased risk of high inflation. Italy’s Coronavirus Emergency Commissioner Francesco Paolo Figliuolo said he anticipates more than 80% of eligible residents will be fully vaccinated by the end of September. In Asia, Chinese state-run media outlet People’s Daily said the country remains focused on “opening to the outside world,” while the recent crackdown is meant to promote fair trade and protect individuals. Japan’s final Second-Quarter Gross Domestic Product data increased 1.9% on an annualised basis, rising versus the preliminary reading, due to increased business and personal spending. Taiwan’s export and import data for August was stronger than expected, as each metric made a new monthly high in dollar value. The Bank of Korea’s bank lending to household figures for August rose versus July, implying increased liquidity in the country’s financial system. Elsewhere, Oil rose 1.45% as 80% of Gulf of Mexico production remained shut down, lowering crude supply, while Gold fell 0.42% on further Dollar strength.
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