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We mentioned last week that the short term technical pictures for equities were pointing to further losses and at the same time a bullish bias was in place for the precious metals. Over the past couple of sessions, fears over an escalation of Western military intervention in the Middle East have dominated sentiment

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US markets closed near session lows last night after comments made by John Kerry, increased global geopolitical risks.

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US markets closed near session lows after the FOMC minutes revealed the increased likelihood of tapering. The yearly Jackson Hole meeting begins today, although given what was said at the last Fed monthly meeting any significantly major comments appear unlikely. Futures are marginally lower ahead of initial jobless claims, house price and leading indicators data.

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Market volumes and volatility have decreased over the past session as we enter a crucial period in time with regards to the Fed’s next policy moves. Later today should give us our first clues as the Fed minutes are released, the general consensus appears to be that asset purchases will begin to be tapered in September. Thus far, with the exception of Precious metals and the dollar, asset classes are pricing in the probability of such, with both bonds and stocks lower.

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European equity futures are slightly lower this morning ahead of UK public sector borrowing data, elsewhere Fitch affirmed the Netherlands at AAA with outlook negative.

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Asian markets are lower for the fourth consecutive day, as growth concerns persist with bond yields rising. The Nikkei is down around 2.5%, and elsewhere Indonesia's Jakarta index is lower by 3% stretching its four day loss to 10%.

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I thought that it would be worth throwing a few thoughts out there given some random moves in asset classes over the past couple of sessions

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US markets were sharply lower yesterday after better expected employment data raised concerns that the Fed would begin to taper their asset purchases soon. Today we have housing data and consumer confidence.

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Asian markets are mixed this morning with the Nikkei a standout loser down almost 2% as Japan's finance minister said that current levels of economic growth warranted an increase in a sales tax. Elsewhere, the Indonesian central bank are due to announce their interest rate decision with no change expected.

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US markets rose to fresh highs yesterday after releasing stronger than expected manufacturing data. Today we have the key non farm payroll number with consensus looking for 185k, Factory orders will also be of significance.

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European equity futures are higher by around 70bps, boosted by the China data. Today we have PMI data out of Germany, France, Italy and the UK, and later we have rate decisions from both the BOE and ECB.

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Japan's busiest reporting day the Nikkei continued its recent weakness falling by just over 1%, whilst elsewhere China's Shanghai is slightly higher

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Asian markets are sharply lower this morning, with Japan's Nikkei and China's Shanghai Composite both lower by around 2% or more, on concerns over corporate growth and a report out of China that the National Audit Office has been asked to file a report on local government debt.

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European equity futures are slightly firmer, buoyed by relative strength out of the US markets. Today we have French Consumer confidence and German import prices.

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Asian markets are softer this morning, with China hardest hit around 1% lower after preliminary manufacturing data released came in lower than expected.

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