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Old 08-05-2019, 10:47 PM   Nav to Top  #151
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Australia Has A$8.036 Billion Trade Surplus In June



Australia posted a merchandise trade surplus of A$8.036 billion in June, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said on Tuesday.

That beat expectations for a surplus of A$6.0 billion and was up from the upwardly revised A$6.173 billion surplus in May (originally A$5.745 billion).

Exports rose A$576 million (1 percent) to A$42,378 million. Non-rural goods rose A$758 million (3 percent). Rural goods fell A$170 million (4 percent) and non-monetary gold fell A$37 million (2 percent). Net exports of goods under merchanting remained steady at A$18 million. Services credits rose A$26 million.

Imports fell A$1,287 million (4 percent) to A$34,342 million. Capital goods fell A$600 million (9 percent), consumption goods fell A$450 million (5 percent) and intermediate and other merchandise goods fell A$366 million (3 percent). Non-monetary gold rose A$132 million (28 percent). Services debits fell A$2 million.

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Old 08-07-2019, 12:24 AM   Nav to Top  #152
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The greenback receives a "black mark" from Trump



Last week, the United States announced the introduction of new tariffs on Chinese imports, in response to which China has allowed its national currency to fall to record lows.

Washington's reaction was not slow. The US administration has officially recognized China as a currency manipulator.

"The goal of China's devaluation of the national currency is to gain an unfair competitive advantage in international trade," the US Treasury said.

China has rejected all the accusations against it.

"This stigma is completely inconsistent with the criteria set by the US Treasury for countries engaged in manipulating the exchange rate. Action from the United States is a one-sided and protectionist act that seriously violates international standards. This will have a serious impact on the global economy," according to a statement from the People's Bank of China.

According to analysts, the decision of the US Ministry of Finance to classify China as currency manipulators could lead to the outbreak of a currency war between the two countries.

"The implications of China's recognition of the currency manipulator could be colossal. The United States may use this decision as a pretext for introducing additional unilateral prohibitive duties. This will lead to the closure of all imports from China, " warns professor of Cornell University Esvar Prasad.

It is assumed that if Donald Trump feels that the US economy will slow down against the backdrop of current events, the possibility of conducting currency interventions with the aim of weakening the dollar will again be on the agenda.

Serious pressure on the greenback is currently being exerted by recent expectations that the Fed will aggressively weaken monetary policy.

The probability of a federal funds rate cut by 25 basis points at the September meeting is now estimated at more than 75%. It is noteworthy that a week ago the chances of an additional round of rate cuts were only 60%.

"The US central bank seems to be held hostage by markets for which the expectation of cheap money is the only argument in favor of growth," Raiffeisenbank analysts said.

"There is another important factor - the pressure from the US president, who desperately needs economic growth to be re-elected for a second term and who has been raining tweets on the Fed for more than a year, calling the leadership of the US central bank incompetent and demanding a weaker dollar to win the trade war with China," said MUFG economist Chris Rupkey.

Citigroup believes that if the Federal Reserve cuts rates in an attempt to smooth out the impact of the global GDP slowdown on the US economy, the monetary policy created by protectionism will not solve the problems.

According to Judy Shelton, who was recently nominated by D. Trump as an official of the FOMC, monetary stimulation is more effective for manipulating currencies than for accelerating economic growth. This is again an argument in favor of the fact that by increasing tariffs on Chinese imports, the owner of the White House provokes an escalation of not only trade, but also currency war.

Apparently, the head of the US administration decided to raise rates at the same time both in discussions with the Federal Reserve and with Beijing.

However, for strong EUR/USD growth, just wanting to weaken the greenback is clearly not enough, and buying the euro should be considered only in the event of breaking resistance at 1.133 and 1.137, while a return to support at 1.1175 and 1.112 will create the prerequisites for opening shorts.


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Old 08-08-2019, 12:32 AM   Nav to Top  #153
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European Economics Preview: France Business Confidence Data Due



Business confidence from France is due on Thursday, headlining a light day for the European economic news.

At 2.00 am ET, Statistics Norway releases industrial output data for June. Economists forecast production to grow 0.3 percent on month, the same rate as seen in May.

At 2.30 am ET, Bank of France is scheduled to issue business sentiment survey results. The confidence index is forecast to rise to 96 in July from 95 in June. The survey also shows GDP estimate.

At 3.00 am ET, consumer prices and foreign trade figures are due from Hungary. Inflation is expected to remain unchanged at 3.4 percent in July.

At 4.00 am ET, the European Central Bank is slated to issue monthly economic bulletin.

At 5.00 am ET, consumer prices and labor force survey results are due from Greece.

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Old 08-13-2019, 01:00 AM   Nav to Top  #154
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Australia NAB Business Conditions Weaken; Sentiment Improves



Australia's business conditions weakened in July reflecting the decrease across most industries, while confidence edged higher, survey data from the National Australia Bank showed Tuesday.

The business conditions index fell 2 points to +2 in July driven by a decline in the employment sub-indicator.

Meanwhile, the business confidence index rose to +4 from +2 a month ago, driven by an improvement across industries. Sentiment remained highest in mining.

The NAB said the business sector has lost significant momentum since early 2018 and forward looking indicators do not point to an improvement in the near term. The lift in confidence following the election appears to have faded with little impact on actual conditions.

According to NAB, both the cut to interest rates and boost to tax rebates is yet to feed into the business sector and that the weakness in the second quarter has persisted into the third quarter.

"With a significant loss of momentum in activity, and inflation indicators remaining weak, the survey points to the need to the need for further stimulus in the economy," Alan Oster, NAB Group chief economist, said.

"Indeed, we expect a further easing in interest rates from the RBA and think that some greater fiscal support will be needed from the government to kickstart growth," Oster added.

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Old 08-14-2019, 12:10 AM   Nav to Top  #155
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China's Industrial Output, Retail Sales Growth Slows



China's industrial production and retail sales grew at weaker pace in July, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed Wednesday.

Industrial output growth eased to 4.8 percent in July from 6.3 percent in June. Output was forecast to expand 6 percent.

Likewise, growth in retail sales slowed to 7.6 percent from 9.8 percent a month ago. This was the weakest growth in three months. The expected pace of growth was 8.6 percent.

During January to July period, fixed asset investment logged an annual growth of 5.7 percent compared to 5.8 percent increase in January to June. The rate was forecast to remain unchanged at 5.8 percent.

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Old 08-14-2019, 10:36 PM   Nav to Top  #156
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Australia Unemployment Rate Unchanged At 5.2% In July



The unemployment rate in Australia came in at a seasonally adjusted 5,2 percent in July, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said on Thursday - unchanged from the previous month and in line with expectations.

The Australian economy added 41,100 jobs last month, far surpassing expectations for a gain of 14,000 jobs following the increase of 500 jobs in June.

The participation rate was 66.1 percent, exceeding estimates for 66.0 - which would have been unchanged from the previous month.

Unemployment increased 800 to 712,900 persons.

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Old 08-16-2019, 02:00 AM   Nav to Top  #157
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Malaysia's Growth Accelerates In Q2



Malaysia's economic growth accelerated in the second quarter on domestic demand, data from the Bank Negara Malaysia showed Friday.

Gross domestic product grew 4.9 percent year-on-year, faster than the 4.5 percent expansion seen in the first quarter. The rate was forecast to improve to 4.7 percent.

On a quarterly basis, GDP expanded 1 percent versus 1.1 percent increase in the preceding period. Data showed that domestic demand advanced underpinned by household spending and higher private investment.

The current account surplus of the balance of payment remained sizeable at MYR 14.3 billion or 3.9 percent of GNI in the second quarter.

In the second quarter, headline inflation increased 0.6 percent mainly reflecting the lapse in the impact of the GST zerorisation, data showed.
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Old 08-19-2019, 12:11 AM   Nav to Top  #158
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Japan Has Y249.6 Billion Trade Deficit In July

Japan posted a merchandise trade deficit of 249.6 billion yen in July, the Ministry of Finance said on Monday.

That missed expectations for a shortfall of 194.5 billion yen following the 589.5 billion yen deficit in June.

Exports were down 1.6 percent on year, topping forecasts for a decline of 2.3 percent following the upwardly revised 6.6 percent drop in the previous month (originally -6.7 percent).

Imports dipped an annual 1.2 percent versus forecasts for a decline of 2.3 percent following the 5.2 percent fall a month earlier.

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Old 08-19-2019, 11:59 PM   Nav to Top  #159
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The euro will continue to focus on falling

Last week, the EUR/USD pair was a step away from updating its annual low and found a local trough at 1.1065.

A decrease in the consumer sentiment index from the University of Michigan to its lowest level over the past seven months somewhat cooled the outburst of the "bears" in EUR/USD. However, this did not force them to abandon their plans.

The weakness of the European economy, the focus of the European Central Bank (ECB) on easing monetary policy, as well as increasing political risks in the region make the euro currency vulnerable. You should not be surprised then at the increase in the chances of its decline by the end of this month to $1.1. A week ago, the derivatives market estimated the likelihood of such a scenario to be realized at more than 16%, while now these chances are 49%.

Obviously, the policy of American protectionism has a more devastating effect on China and the eurozone than on the United States. This is evidenced by the fact that an industry from the eurozone had plummet into an abyss, and the fall of 0.1% of German GDP in the second quarter. Bloomberg analysts predict a further decline in German purchasing managers' indices in August, which increases the risks of a technical recession in the largest currency bloc economy. The divergence of economic growth between the EU and the US is well traced in the dynamics of such an indicator as the index of economic surprises. This fact does not allow the bulls to sleep peacefully for the euro.

If last year investors still had hope that the eurozone would get on its feet and begin to accelerate, then this year it seems that they will be disappointed. The United States still looks like an island of stability in the ocean of world recession.

The "bearish" factor for the euro is also the deterioration of the political landscape in the EU. In Italy, a split in the ruling coalition allowed the country's deputy prime minister, Matteo Salvini, to initiate a motion of no confidence in the head of government, Giuseppe Conte. Early Parliamentary elections loomed on the horizon, and the flight of investors from the Italian debt market was reflected in the increase in the differential yield of local and German government bonds.

On the contrary, the greenback is doing well. Of course, the USD index rally complicates the life of US exporters and helps reduce corporate profits, but this is an objective process. When rates on government bonds in the United States are higher than in other countries, and the US economy looks better, the dollar, it would seem, is doomed to strengthen.

However, there is a fly in the ointment - US President Donald Trump's dissatisfaction with the Fed's actions and, as a result, a possible reduction in the rate of federal funds by the end of this year from 2.25% to 1.75%. However, it is unlikely that the Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Jerome Powell in Jackson Hole, will want to signal a cut in interest rates by 50 basis points at once in September. As for the minutes of the July meeting, it can show the arguments of dissenters who opposed for the FOMC members to ease monetary policy. It is assumed that this will support the EUR/USD bears. In such conditions, the continuation of the fall of the main currency pair seems quite logical.

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Old 08-21-2019, 10:03 PM   Nav to Top  #160
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Gold at the crossroads: there are plenty of reasons for a correction, but no less in favor of growth



Gold froze at a crossroads. Apparently, speculators who push prices higher, and consumers who want to buy cheaper metals, decided to take a break.

Since the beginning of this year, gold has risen by almost 19% in price, breaking the psychologically important mark of $1,500 per ounce. The last time this level was observed was in April 2013.

The main reason for the growth of quotes was the fear of investors about the global recession, which forces them to shift capital to safe haven assets. It is assumed that if the concerns of market participants begin to be confirmed, the rally of precious metals will continue.

"Rising prices to a six-year high is primarily due to bonds, and it is extremely important for investors to monitor changes in their yield in order to understand what will be the dynamics," said Oax Hansen of Saxo Bank.

The decrease in bond yields in the world has already led to the fact that sovereign bonds with a total volume of almost $16 trillion give a negative percentage.

The jump in the cost of precious metals was also caused by expectations that the Fed, the ECB and other central banks would stimulate economic growth in various ways. The easing of monetary policy tends to lower interest rates and increase the investment attractiveness of gold.

A sharp rise in prices carries the risks of an equally sharp decline, analysts warn.

"The aggregate gold volume in ETFs is steadily growing and has reached 77.4 million ounces, which is the highest for six years. Previous similar bursts of speculative demand caused a serious correction of quotations," O. Hansen said.

In addition, fears of a global recession may also be exaggerated: now markets are most likely driven by emotions. Recent macroeconomic data for the United States were positive and the reduction of interest rates by the world central bank is aimed at maintaining economic growth.

Reducing tensions in Washington and Beijing's trade relations could also serve as a reason for a short, albeit sharp, price correction.

Another negative point for gold may be the expected decline in demand for jewelry in India due to an increase in import duties in the country from 10% to 12.5%, as well as a change in ETF positions, which will respond to the sale of precious metals in response to a restoration of risk appetite .

In case the Fed comes with a surprise - not to continue to lower the interest rate - a correction in gold prices is also possible.

"We expect the Fed to disappoint the market without lowering interest rates in the coming months, and profit taking will ultimately trigger the end of the gold rally. In the event of a pullback, the $1,350 mark per ounce is likely to become a new level of support," representatives of the Fitch rating agency said.

However, there are plenty of factors in favor of the growth of quotes.

According to Deutsche Bank analysts, the main drivers of gold price growth will be real interest rates, stock risk premium, US dollar, as well as purchases of precious metals by central banks.

According to the forecast of Deutsche Bank, the price of gold will be $1,575 per ounce in the next year and a half, and under certain conditions it can reach $1,700.

"Gold is an extremely profitable investment amid the easing of monetary policy by the leading central banks of the world," said Mark Mebius, founder of the Mobius Capital Partners investment fund.

"The long-term prospect of gold – up, up and only up, because the money supply in the world will grow, grow and grow again. Therefore, I believe that gold should be bought at any price," he said.

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