Markets trade-off Friday overhang: Markets traded in something of a vacuum Monday. The themes driving price action were more-or-less those that had determined activity to end last week. The effects of this were pronounced in the Asian session, but much less so in Europe and North America. It stands to reason: Asian markets were still to digest Friday night’s abysmal European PMI figures. That data’s impact is still rippling through the market. Anxieties about global growth and the likelihood for a global recession is the topic of the day. But the material losses stemming from these concerns, though broad-based, have been limited overnight. Wall Street is down but bouncing; European stocks were down; while futures contracts for Asian markets are mixed.
Risk-off generally prevails: Fear is demonstrably higher. On balance, safety was generally sought on Monday. In something of a bittersweet development, the VIX has pulled of its lows, to trade above 16, as traders reprice volatility and risk. In the broader G10 currency complex, the Yen has been led the pack, though its rally has steadied, and it is currently shuffling around the 110-handle. Investment grade credit spreads have widened notably, as speculation about slower growth has fanned-fear regarding the massive US corporate debt burden. And finally, the overnight-drop in the US Dollar, combined with the ubiquitous disappearance of safe-yielding assets the world-over, has pushed gold prices to $US1322 per ounce.
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