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Risk Assets Decline, Treasuries Rally on Global Growth Concerns

Risk assets fell while Treasuries rallied across the curve amid renewed concern over China’s growth prospects.  The Asian Development Bank cut its regional forecasts for this year and next, citing softer expected growth from both China and India, and a delayed recovery from the world’s advanced economies.  The ADB is now predicting growth in the region of 5.8% in 2015 and 6.0% in 2016, both down from previous estimates of 6.3%.  The ADB cut China’s growth forecast for 2015 to 6.8% from 7.2%.  Commodity prices were hit hard as a result, further cooling the global outlook for inflation.

Other headlines included comments from European Central Bank chief economist Peter Praet and yesterday’s remarks from Atlanta Fed President Lockhart.  Praet said the ECB shares the Fed’s concerns over the health of the global economy, and indicated that they are prepared to expand their quantitative easing program if the outlook for inflation in the euro area doesn’t improve.  Lockhart became the fourth Fed president since the conclusion of last week’s FOMC meeting to make a case for higher rates before the end of the year.  He described last week’s decision as a “close call”, and said he voted with the majority as “prudent risk management around recent and current market volatility”.  Lockhart said full employment is not a prerequisite for liftoff and that he was “comfortable enough” with inflation to initiate a hike before year end.

Today is another quiet day for US data and markets will continue to trade off of headlines, the corporate issuance calendar, and the $26 billion two-year note auction.  Lockhart speaks again this evening.

 

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