U.S. Equity Markets bounced around again, with plenty of two-way trading, before ending yesterday with small losses, led by the S&P which closed 0.14% lower. Markets continued their choppy trade. Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland President Loretta Mester said she needs more evidence inflation will exceed 2% for some time before accepting it has met the central bank’s goal. This went against recent commentary from other Federal Reserve presidents. Economic data was weak for the second straight day. Both Consumer Confidence and Chicago Fed PMI missed estimates in their most recent readings. It was a quiet day otherwise. Investors are still looking forward to the employment data releases later in the week for any clues on the economic recovery and possible Fed policy changes. European Markets closed lower. Euro-Zone Preliminary Consumer Price index data for August was stronger than expected, rising versus July, due to rising food and energy costs. European Central Bank Governing Council member Robert Holzmann said high inflation would only be temporary, with many of the historical low price trends still intact. French consumer spending for July unexpectedly contracted, as money spent on manufactured goods turned negative for the first time in several months. In Asia, China’s official Purchasing Managers’ Index (“PMI”) data for August fell back into contraction territory for the first time since February 2020, as services sector activity slowed. Japan’s preliminary industrial production figures for July were stronger than expected, but declined on a month-over-month basis as supply-chain issues weighed. China’s currency regulator was said to question financial institutions whether they’re hedged for yuan volatility, implying the currency’s value could tumble in the near term. South Korea’s First Vice Finance Minister Lee Eog-weon said the government would be closely monitoring the Federal Reserve’s asset purchase tapering plans for financial market volatility. Elsewhere, Oil fell 0.3% as weak Chinese economic data sparked concerns of falling demand, while Bitcoin closed 3% lower on little news.
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