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A tale of two continents

Published Monday, October 6th, 2014

There is a herd of elephants in the room at the moment, almost to the point of bursting. Will Islamic State be contained or go from strength to strength; will Ebola become a pandemic, paralysing the movement of people and commodities within and to and from Africa; will Russia squeeze Europe on energy supplies this winter; will an increasingly fractious eurozone last another year without an exit; will the demonstrations in Hong Kong be resolved peacefully; will the latest set of US employment figures advance an interest rate rise? Anyone of them could generate a shock to the global financial system and we saw last week signs of growing concern in the markets.

The week began badly in Asia with students demanding universal suffrage in Hong Kong and confronting the Chinese authorities. It ended well with the highly anticipated US non-farm payrolls exceeding expectations. Well that is until the news came through of another beheading by ISIS. The payroll figure came in at 248,000 with upward revisions to July and August numbers amounting to 69,000, bringing the monthly average of NFP job creation to 227,000 so far this year compared to last year’s average of 194,000. Unemployment also fell from 6.1 to 5.9%.

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Posted by David Hufton