Global Themes

Markets hit

The HKD slipped lower on Friday as the ongoing political turmoil in Washington DC hit both the greenback and US sharemarkets.

The departure of President Trump’s chief political strategist, Stephen Bannon, on Friday created more uncertainty as it followed the recent resignations of Trump’s chief of staff and communications director last month.

The US dollar index slipped 0.3% as it hit the lowest level in a week. The US’s Dow Jones fell 0.4% on Friday after Thursday’s 1.3% fall.

RMB climbs

The USD weakness saw the HKD fall to one-week lows versus the RMB. The RMB has recently neared one-year highs versus the HKD.

The Japanese yen neared 10-month highs.

The euro was also higher as markets look ahead to the all-important Jackson Hole central bank symposium this week. With the European Central Bank believed likely to soon end its stimulus program, ECB head Mario Draghi’s speech will be closely watched.

Jackson Hole

The early focus this week will be on global PMI (purchasing managers index) results which provide an early guide to economic activity across the globe. These numbers are due on Wednesday.

The PMI numbers have a major impact on equities and commodities.

Later, of course, the Jackson Hole symposium will be in focus, with key speeches from the US Federal Reserve and Bank of Japan in addition to the ECB.

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