Oil prices fell today, affected by the performance of stock markets in Asia and fears of a decline in demand in China
The Bank of Canada made a surprise move today, raising interest rates by 0.25% to 1% for the second time in a row this year. Expectations were that the bank would keep interest at 0.75%. A monetary policy report wasn't released after today's meeting and there was no press conference.
Australia's economic growth accelerated in the second quarter of 2017 as exports and consumer spending surged to ease fears about a worsening outlook. GDP expanded by 0.8% quarterly, after rising by 0.3% in the first quarter of the same year.
Russia and Saudi Arabia have discussed the possibility of extending the OPEC and Non-OPEC cut-off agreement but no final decision has been taken. The current deal cuts production until March 2018 with a recommendation from a committee of participating countries to increase production cuts if needed.
UK Services PMI index fell to 53.2 points in August from 53.8 points in the previous month, and it was slightly below expectations of 53.5 points, and it is the lowest since September 2016.
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.
The Swiss economy grew at a slower pace than expected during the second quarter of 2017 as the growth in the financial sector and hotels was offset by weak growth in both trade and public administration. On a quarterly basis, GDP grew by 0.3%, below expectations of 0.5% growth, while the economy grew by 0.1% in the first quarter of 2017.
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.
UK Construction PMI fell to 51.1 points in August from 51.9 points in July, below expectations of a 52 point increase. Today's reading is the lowest in a year, just after a referendum on the EU membership.
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