Provides a market roundup, a selection of useful data points we use for our investment analysis, and some interesting articles/charts we have noticed recently.
US stocks ended higher for the first time in four weeks but surrendered most of their gains, as some data suggested that the economy was not slowing enough to satisfy Federal Reserve policymakers. Energy was the standout performer in the S&P 500 Index as oil prices surged following a decision by major exporters to cut global production.
Inflation worries seemed to resurface somewhat after the so-called OPEC+ group of oil exporters announced a 2 million-barrel per day cut in target production on Wednesday. Although many observers expect the actual cutback will be smaller, the benchmark price for a barrel of domestic oil rose by roughly USD 10 over the week, crossing the USD 90 mark for the first time since late August.
Signs of labor market strength also seemed to deepen inflation fears. On Friday, the Labor Department reported that the economy had added 263,000 jobs in September, while the unemployment rate had fallen back to multiyear lows of 3.5%. More concerning may have been a surprise drop in the participation rate, to 62.3%, indicating that competition for available workers would remain intense. Nevertheless, the increase in wages appeared to be slowing, with average hourly earnings continuing to decline on a year-over-year basis to 5%, compared with March’s peak of 5.6%.
The Australian sharemarket ended up week on week despite a sour note after the US Federal Reserve’s hawkish position on interest rate hikes reignited recession fears for investors, which will likely weigh on this week's trading. Investors continue the rolling calculation of 'where' the inflection point to return to risk taking is.
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