Bond, equity and commodity markets retreated around the world in October as investors became more concerned about inflation, central bank policy and the US election. Comments from policymakers and politicians about the diminishing effectiveness of monetary stimulus contributed to these concerns. Renewed disagreement among oil-supplying nations undermined the price of oil. Equity market volatility spiked sharply. The US earnings season produced a mixed crop of reports, but the overall tone of economic data supported the view of moderate economic growth with contained inflation. Economic growth in China continued to improve.