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After Jobs Figures, Talk of QE3 'Premature': Gartman

Monday, 5 Sep 2011 | 2:35 AM ET

Friday's worse-than expected jobs figures have brought talk of a third round of quantitative easing, which has been around most of the year, to the top of the agenda.

Dennis Gartman
CNBC
Dennis Gartman

The news that the US economy created no jobs and the unemployment rate held steadily higher at 9.1 percent in August sent stocks and the dollar down on Friday, and are expected to push European markets down Monday.

Dennis Gartman, investor and author of The Gartman Letter, told CNBC Monday talk of a third round of quantitative easing is "a bit premature" in the immediate wake of the announcement.

"I don't think the Fed will be that quick to respond," he said. "If you get another poor number next month then perhaps by October or November you might see QE3."

There has been renewed speculation that the US may have entered a period of recession following the numbers.

"We have to remember that jobs are a lagging indicator," Jeremy Stretch, head of currency strategy at CIBC, told CNBC.

"You have to ask if the slowdown is consistent with a recessionary environment in the US, or just a decouplization of growth and the recognition that policy leaders aren't able to pull any number of levers to get growth to kick off quickly."

He pointed out that the month included a loss of 45,000 jobs because of the Verizon strike, which should be added back for September's figures. The Verizon workers walked away from their jobs for two weeks in August because of disputes between management and unions over a number of issues, including healthcare coverage.

"These were bad numbers no matter how you choose to paint it, but they were not quite as bad as the first reports indicated," said Gartman. "I don't think things are that weak but they're not strong."

"They're weak enough to put downward pressure on commodity prices, on oil prices and weak enough to put inordinate and probably more consistent downward pressure on equities generally," he said.

Gartman, who hasn't changed his asset allocation as a result of the jobs figures, added that the numbers are "disturbing" for the current American government, led by President Barack Obama, ahead of Presidential elections next year.

"This won't be enough for policy leaders and particularly politicians at this stage of the electoral cycle," said Stretch.

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