U.S. Equity Markets sold off sharply on interest rate fears, led by the NASDAQ 100 which ended yesterday’s session with a loss of 2.88%, resulting in the VIX surging, to close 24% higher at a price of 23.25. Interest rate fears were back, with the 10-year Treasury hitting the highest level in three months. The stock market bears are going to use this to try and push markets lower, saying that rising yields mean inflation expectations are rising. Elsewhere, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell spooked markets again. Powell noted inflation could remain high for a while. The comment was in line with his previous statements. In his statement, Powell noted household spending had cooled in July and August in COVID-sensitive sectors. And he said near-term supply constraints held back economic output. In terms of economic data, the Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index fell into contraction, while Consumer Confidence fell unexpectedly. European Markets fell sharply. Growth from Knowledge’s German consumer confidence data for October unexpectedly rose, as business and income expectations saw large gains. European Central Bank Governing Council member Pablo Hernandez de Cos said the central bank has not discussed asset purchase tapering and that stimulus removal needs to be measured. ECB President Christine Lagarde said that the Euro-Zone economy has recovered quickly, while reiterating the central bank sees the recent inflation increase as temporary. In Asia, The People’s Bank of China said it would maintain flexible, appropriate, and targeted monetary policy, while protecting the rights of housing consumers. Japan’s Economy Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura said the government is seeking an advisory panel’s approval to end the COVID-19 state of emergency as infections are subsiding. The Bank of Korea’s Consumer Confidence Index numbers for September improved versus August as household spending plans hit the highest level since June. Australia’s Retail Sales figures for August fell less than anticipated, also exceeding July levels, as department store and restaurant spending improved. Elsewhere, Gold closed 1.07% lower on Dollar strength, while Bitcoin fell 4% on little news.
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