U.S. Equity Markets were mixed for the second straight day, as volatility picked up with the VIX closing higher by 4%. Markets opened lower before recovering throughout the day. Republican Senators said that they will not put forward another infrastructure counterproposal, after President Joe Biden declined their current $900 billion offer. But a separate bipartisan group of Senators said that they were putting together a new “Plan B” proposal worth about $880 billion. JOLTS Job Opening data reached a record high in April, as businesses look to hire to keep up with the economic recovery. Inflation data are still in focus for the rest of the week – with Chinese CPI and PPI coming out tonight and the release of U.S. CPI on Thursday. European Markets also closed mixed. The British government was said to be ready to delay its full reopening by two weeks, as ministers say that it would give enough time for the most vulnerable to be fully vaccinated. German ZEW sentiment fell unexpectedly in June, thought survey respondents expect a strong economic recovery over the next six months. Euro-Zone first-quarter gross domestic product (“GDP”) was revised higher from the initial read, but still declined, meaning the Euro-Zone has dipped back into a recession. A British Retail Consortium survey showed that British consumer spending was up 10% from 2019 levels in May, the largest jump from 2019 of any month during the pandemic. In Asia, Japan’s first-quarter GDP was revised lower from the initial reading on lower demand from domestic consumers. The White House was said to be readying trade and investment negotiations with Taiwan. The recent coronavirus lockdown in Taiwan was said to impact semiconductor production, possibly making the chip crunch worse. Australia’s Victoria state is reportedly ready to lift its COVID-19 restrictions on Friday, with no plans to extend the lockdowns. Elsewhere, Bitcoin fell 8% as the Bank of England said that cryptocurrency payments need to be intensely regulated, while Oil gained 1.43% on reports that the U.S. would keep sanctions on Iran, meaning that Iran crude wouldn’t flood the market with supply.
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