Asian markets are lower this morning after concerns grew that China would not ease monetary policy despite slowing economic growth. The People’s Bank of China’s primary fear is increasing food and housing inflation, which would be exacerbated by any easing measures.
In Europe an unsourced rumor that the ECB is contemplating setting sovereign debt yield targets was quickly dismissed by the central bank, stating it is an “absolutely misleading report on decisions not yet taken” and that “yield targets have not been discussed by the council” (ZeroHedge). The Euro and DAX initially gained on the rumor but have since retraced those moves.
Spain has said it will decide whether or not to ask for a formal bailout from the EFSF after the ECB provides more details of what such a bailout would entail. The Spanish government would like the ECB to commit to an open-ended debt purchase. Details of a potential bailout could be provided at the ECB’s Sept. 6 policy meeting.
There is no major economic news to be released in the US this morning, so trading will likely be driven by the price action in Europe where equities have recently turned negative. On Friday state-level unemployment data was released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics showing that the unemployment rate rose in 44 states in July. The July non-farm payrolls report showed the national jobless rate to be 8.3%, up 0.1% over June. The White House now expects the unemployment rate to dip below 7% only in 2015. (http://news.investors.com/article/622601/201208171527/jobless-rate-climbs-in-44-states.htm)