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Five Things World Business Will be Talking About Today

Sep 1, 2017


 It’s jobs day, Trump weighs tying debt increase to Harvey aid, and Brexit battle intensifies. Here are some of the things people in markets are talking about today.

Jobs day

All eyes are on the August labor market report at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time, which will likely set the tone for the trading week to come. Economists forecast job growth of 180,000, the unemployment rate to remain unchanged at 4.3 percent, a 16-year low, and average hourly earnings up 0.2 percent month on month. The latter metric is capturing more market attention in light of mediocre wage growth even as the labor market tightens. One note of caution: for six years running, economists have consistently overestimated August payrolls. Manufacturing and vehicle-sales data are also due out today.

Debt limit

President Donald Trump is mulling attaching an increase in the U.S. debt limit to an initial $5.95 billion disaster-aid request for Hurricane Harvey, people familiar with the matter said. Officials have kicked off talks with congressional leaders about the approach, and the White House request could be issued as early as today, in a move aimed at easing the early passage of a debt-limit increase. Trump is also seeking to decouple the debt issue from a potential fight in Congress over funding for his proposed border wall that risks a government shutdown, according to one of the officials. Investors at the short-end of the Treasury curve are demanding higher compensation to hedge against default risk.

U.S. market rollercoaster

Ten-year Treasury yields are in the throes of a spirited a bull run that’s taken Wall Street off guard, adding juice to the ‘Goldilocks’ global market rally. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was broadly unchanged after a decline Thursday spurred by comments from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin that a weaker currency yields trading benefits. As global primary markets go back to school, appetite for U.S. junk bonds will be tested after investors soured on the asset class this summer. U.S. tech stocks are also back at record highs, helping the S&P 500 Index reach a fifth day of gains.

Markets rise

European shares climbed, with media and mining companies extending gains. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index is up 0.8 percent, as of 05:50 a.m. ET. The LME Index of six industrial metals soared to the highest in almost three years, led by copper. Futures on the S&P 500 Index rose 0.1 percent, while the MSCI World Index notched a 0.2 percent gain, the highest in more than three weeks.

Brexit battle

The European Union and the British government remain at loggerheads over the U.K.’s financial liabilities, the enforcement of citizens’ rights and the sequencing of talks, after another round of talks over the country’s exit from the union failed to secure a breakthrough. The tone of discussions remains acrimonious, with International Trade Secretary Liam Fox accusing the EU of seeking to blackmail Britain into paying a divorce bill. The stalled talks are piling pressure on Prime Minister Theresa May.

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