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Asian Data Keeps Markets Busy

Key Figures Released During the Overnight Session Driving Market Momentum

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A robust pickup in Australia’s labour market, a dovish 0.25% rate cut from the RBNZ, and a sharp decline in China’s PPI has kept Asian markets volatile in early trading. Data from China continues to worry investors with producer prices falling sharply, declining -5.90%.

RBNZ Cuts Rates

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand decided to cut the benchmark lending rates by 25bps in its monetary policy meeting announcement, bringing the interest rates down from 3.00% to 2.75%. The RBNZ's statement was interpreted as very dovish with the Central Bank signalling scope for further rate cuts with the rate forecast for 2015 revised down to 2.50%. Slowing demand from China and global uncertainty was cited as one of the reasons for a drop in commodity prices. The RBNZ stated that further depreciation in the New Zealand Dollar's exchange rate was warranted to reflect changing conditions. Also mentioned was that in the event of continued weakening demand from China, the Central Bank would not hesitate to slash interest rates interest rates to as low as 2.00%. The NZDUSD pair fell sharply on the RBNZ's decision and comments, already giving up -1.75% for the day.

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Australia Posts Job Growth

Australian unemployment data released earlier today showed the economy added 17,400 new jobs for the month of August, beating estimates of 5,200. The unemployment rate printed in-line with expectations of 6.20%, falling from 6.30% a month ago. The Australian economy has managed to consistently add a steady flow of jobs to the economy for the past two months indicating a pickup in the labour markets. This was further highlighted by the RBA in a recent meeting with projections expecting the unemployment rate to decline further in the near-term. AUDUSD was choppy in early trading with the currency pair tumbling -2.80% after posting strong gains during the early part of this week. The big move was witnessed in AUDNZD which gained 1.84% led by a dovish RBNZ and a better-than-expected jobs report. AUDNZD lifted off from the daily open near 1.0948 to trade near 1.1151 at the time of writing.

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Apple Unveils New Products

Apple prominently revealed its new range of iPhones, the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus as well as Apple TV and a revamped iPad Pro at the event in San Francisco yesterday. The 6S and 6S Plus saw the addition of 3D touch (previously known as Force Touch) with a 12 megapixel camera and 50% more pixels than the iPhone 6. The new products unveiled yesteray are expected to open for pre-sales on September 12 while hitting the stores on September 25th. The company also launched a new stylus known as Apple Pencil which is expected to retail at $100. The new product launch however failed to impress investors expecting a groundbreaking announcement with share prices nosediving, closing -1.92% lower for the day. Shares in Apple hit a roadblock this year after posting highs at 134.54 before slumping and printing at a 52-week low of $92.

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Bank of England Policy Meeting

The Bank of England event later in the session is the next major monetary policy event. Expectations heading into today's event is for the interest rates to remain unchanged at 0.50%. Focus however is on the MPC vote count which so far has seen only one dissenter in favor of hiking rates. The British Pound has made strong gains this week after posting a 9-day consecutive decline previously. In the event the MPC vote count sees additional dissenters promoting a rate hike, the case would be very bullish for the British Pound. However, given the rally this week in the Pound, the markets seemed to have priced in this event, which therefore increases the risks to the downside should the MPC's vote count stays unchanged. Manufacturing and industrial production data released yesterday was disappointing as both data saw a worse than expected declines with manufacturing production slipping -0.80% and industrial production contracting -0.40%.

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