October 2, 2017
Mass shooting in Las Vegas, Spanish markets drop after Catalan vote, and strong manufacturing data for Europe. Here are some of the things people in markets are talking about today.
Las Vegas shooting
Police say more than 20 people have been killed and more than 100 injured in a gun attack at an outdoor music festival in Las Vegas, Nevada. Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said in a statement that the attacker was confronted on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino, across the street from the concert. Authorities say the gunman died. Lombardo added that police are treating this as a “lone wolf” attack.
Spanish bonds dropped and Madrid’s IBEX Index was 1.2 percent lower by 5:50 a.m. Eastern Time as markets assessed the fallout from yesterday’s independence vote in the Catalonia region. Tensions remain high in the aftermath of heavy-handed tactics of state police in trying to stop the vote, which had been declared illegal by the country’s constitutional court, and the results that showed 2 million of the 2.3 million votes cast were in favor of secession. Separatist leaders signaled they may be moving towards a unilateral declaration of independence as early as this week.
A purchasing managers index for manufacturing in the euro area rose to 58.1 in September, according to London-based IHS Markit, while a separate gauge for employment rose at the fastest pace since the survey began in 1997. The data confirm a positive trend in the common-currency area this year, which is on track for its strongest expansion in a decade. September PMI data for the U.K. slipped to a still-solid 55.9. Similar prints for the U.S. are due at 9:45 a.m.
The first trading day of the quarter got off to a slow start in Asia as Chinese, Indian, South Korean and Hong Kong markets were all closed for public holidays. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell 0.1 percent, with Japan’s Topix Index slipping by a similar margin. In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index was 0.3 percent higher at 5:50 a.m., suggesting investors see Spain’s Catalan headache as a domestic issue. S&P 500 futures gained 0.1 percent, the 10-year Treasury yield was at 2.353 percent and gold was lower.
While this week’s data are dominated by non-farm payrolls on Friday, there will be something for central-bank watchers ahead of that number: On Wednesday, Fed Chair Janet Yellen will speak at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. Investors will watch this closely to see if the recent focus by Fed officials on financial asset-price rises – which some suggest may lead to interest rate hikes despite low inflation – continues. On Thursday, the European Central Bank publishes the minutes of its September meeting, which will be read for clues on asset-purchase tapering.