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Following are the highlights of the European Central Bank's monthly bulletin:
The Reserve Bank of Australia kept its policy unchanged at its last meeting, in line with most market expectations. The MPC members voted in favor of keeping interest rates unchanged at 1.5% historically low since the August 2016 meeting.
Takahide Kiuchi, a former Bank of Japan member, made the following remarks:
• The Bank of Japan is likely to continue the process of ending the stimulus program.
• The Bank of Japan may also consider changing long-term interest rates soon.
The US dollar rose during the week, as the dollar index reaching a three-week high of 94.04, supported by positive retail sales that beat expectations and rose by 0.6% in July. Core retail sales rose by 0.5%.
The July consumer price index rose by 1.2% on yearly basis, in line with expectations, compared with June's reading which rose by 1%. While the core index rose by 0.1%, and on yearly basis rose by 0.9%.
Today's Canadian CPI data is released, as the markets priced raising interest rates again from the Bank of Canada by about 80% in the fourth quarter of this year. Markets are also waiting for the University of Michigan's consumer sentiment reading for August.
UK retail sales rose by 0.3% in July, better than expected of 0.2% rise, while the previous month's reading was revised down to 0.3% from 0.6%. On an annualized basis, retail sales rose less than expected 1.3% compared to the previous reading which revised down from 3% to 2.8%.
The US dollar fell in yesterday's trading following the release of the minutes of the FOMC meeting in July, which showed the fear of policymakers of the recent weakness of inflation, and some asked to ease the process of raising interest rates until the picture is quite clear, so the dollar index hit its lowest level since the beginning of the week at 93.19 This morning, also the US dollar gave up most of its gains against the Japanese yen, dropping from its highest level since the beginning of this month to 109.65 levels before recovering slightly with morning trading.
The following are the most important comments from the Westpac chief economist:
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