As the continuing turmoil in Europe is casting an ever-gloomier shadow over global markets, markets are hoping that US central bank boss Ben Bernanke will provide some relief by launching a fresh round of monetary stimulus.
Their hopes have been bolstered by recent dismal US economic data pointing to continuing troubles in the jobs market and falling factory orders, which has fanned fears that the US economy is now sliding back into recession. At the same time, the US economy is being dragged down by tighter financial conditions due to the ongoing European crisis, with equity prices falling, while credit spreads are widening and the US dollar is rising.
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