U.S. Equity Markets were choppy to start the week, finishing yesterday’s trading session mixed, as the Dow closed higher by 0.21% while the NASDAQ 100 fell 0.81%. Markets declined to start the week. Congress is a big driver for markets this week, with planned votes on the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill and the $3.5 trillion government spending bill. There were multiple Federal Reserve speakers after the central bank’s policy meeting last week. Both New York Fed President John Williams and Governor Lael Brainard said that the data indicates that a tapering of asset purchases is warranted, but that does not mean the Fed will hike rates anytime soon. Chicago Fed President Charles Evans downplayed inflation fears, saying that long-term inflation is still muted. Evans added that he sees the first rate hike coming in 2023. European Markets closed higher. Germany’s Social Democrats were predicted to beat outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union in Sunday’s general election, potentially shaking up regional politics. The British government was said to be readying emergency measures to alleviate the country’s fuel shortage, including having the military drive gas tankers into the country. The International Atomic Energy Agency said Iran would not allow inspectors access to a nuclear facility, violating the terms of their inspection agreement. In Asia, China’s government is said to be prepared to stem any financial fallout if real estate developer Evergrande defaults on its debt, but it wants to highlight the importance of corporate discipline. The Japanese Yen continued to weaken, boosting the outlook for Japanese exporters after the Federal Reserve’s recent admission it could soon begin tapering asset purchases. South Korea’s Financial Services Commission Chairman Koh Seung-beom said the government would unveil new measures next month to help curb household leverage. Taiwan’s industrial production data for August was stronger than anticipated and July’s numbers were revised higher, as semiconductor-related demand remained solid. Elsewhere, Oil rose 2% along with natural gas on concerns over a supply shortage, while Bitcoin gained 1.61% on little news.
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