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Trump tapes may have a silver lining for markets

The stock market looks set for a firm open this morning, in line with relatively steady international macro settings.

While US jobs data on Friday did little to change the market outlook, the weekend’s political developments and today’s Presidential debate may be a positive for markets.

Last month’s US jobs data remains consistent with a picture of steady trend growth over recent months. This remains good enough to employ the growing population and keeping the unemployment rate at about 5%. However, the pool of underemployed people remains very large. If your view is that this is a good enough scenario to allow the Fed to lift rates again this year, there was nothing in Friday’s data to change that position.

Markets clearly look upon a Trump Presidency as a risk factor but appear to be pricing an assumption that it’s fairly unlikely to happen. Even so, if today’s debate produces a Clinton win and cements the damage of the recent tapes to Trump’s prospects, markets may respond positively as the risk of a Trump victory becomes even less likely.

Weekend news that more Chinese cities have tightened rules on property investment is likely to be a short term negative for the outlook on copper demand. The question for investors in mining stocks is whether this has already been factored into prices with last week’s decline.

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