After seven straight months of gains for stocks, some investors are beginning to wonder when the good times will end.
Data from Asia on Wednesday is the latest reminder that they may not last.
Factory activity lost momentum in August as a coronavirus resurgence hit supply chains across the region. China’s factory activity slipped into contraction for the first time in nearly 1-1/2 years, while chip shortages and factory shutdowns slowed manufacturing in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan.
So far, markets don’t seem overly concerned.
Propelled by bets of continued central bank support, the S&P 500 (.SPX), Europe’s STOXX 600 and MSCI’s global equity index closed August with their seventh straight month of gains.
With the Federal Reserve last week appearing in no rush to pull back stimulus, traders are honing in on Friday’s U.S. jobs figures for their next clues on taper timing.
So where will it all end?
An ominous sign is that the last time world stocks notched up their best run of monthly gains — a 15-month streak that ended in January 2018 — markets then tumbled to their worst year since the global financial crisis.
Back then it was precipitated, at least in part, by worries of tightening monetary policy.
Developments that should provide more direction to markets on Wednesday:Biden says Afghanistan exit marks the end of U.S nation-building. read more .
BOJ’s deputy governor warns against premature monetary tightening. read more .
S.Korea’s parliament passes bill to curb Google, Apple commission dominance. read more
Central bank of Chile raised rates by 75 bps
Australia Q2 GDP stronger than expected at +0.7% q/q.
ECB Board member Edouard Fernandez-Bollo speaks at 1155 GMT.
Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta President Raphael Bostic speaks at 1600 GMT.