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Daily Agenda: The Week Ahead, September 28 – October 3, 2015

Employment data in the U.S. and euro zone inflation keep monetary policy in focus; final September PMI in China on the way; a white night for Paris.

Central bank policymakers remain at the forefront of market narratives in the developed world. The days ahead will provide data points that could influence these decision makers, including fresh employment and housing figures for the U.S. to inflation levels in Europe. Meanwhile, assessments of economic activity in China will reverberate through emerging markets.

Monday, September 28: Investors convene in Geneva for the fourth annual CBOE Risk Management Conference Europe. The recent macro-induced spike in implied volatility has suddenly rekindled many investors’ interest in modifying risk with options, futures and other derivatives. The newly introduced weekly CBOE Volatility index (VIX) futures contracts and weekly options, on deck to start trading October 8, will likely be a primary topic among participants as pure volatility products continue to rise in popularity.

Tuesday, September 29: In the U.S., July Case-Shiller home price index levels are scheduled for release. Signs currently point towards higher prices for homes on average. August existing homes sales figures, published this past week, plunged by 4.8 percent to an annual rate of 5.31 million. According to many analysts, this drop was on the back of rising prices — particularly in the Southeast and out West.

Wednesday, September 30: Eurostat announced September euro zone consumer price inflation data. This past Wednesday, during a presentation to the EU Monetary Affairs Committee, European Central Bank president Mario Draghi raised concerns over the economic health of the euro zone insisting that he will not hesitate to act if deflationary pressure persists.

Thursday, October 1: China releases official September final purchasing managers’ index data as well as unofficial Caixin-Markit index levels. With emerging-markets sentiment continuing to strongly hinge on prospects for growth in China, any significant change from the flash readings is likely to impact short-term sentiment across financial markets globally.

Friday, October 2: After the Federal Open Market Committee held off from raising rates during its September meeting, the view among many analysts — later confirmed by some policymakers — was that fragility in global financial markets was a catalyst for the decision. Another strong showing in the monthly Department of Labor employment data release on Friday would make waiting longer more difficult for Fed leaders.

Saturday, October 3: Museums, galleries and other cultural centers of Paris will stay open all night on Saturday through Sunday morning — as will public transit — as the city of light celebrates Nuit Blanche, literally “white night.” Transforming a city center into an all-night arts festival was originally conceived as special one-off event by Jean Blaise in the city of Nantes in the Brittany region of France during the 1980s and subsequently emulated by cities around the globe. In 2002, Blaise was enlisted as the first artistic director of what has become an annual celebration in Paris.

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