Looking beyond North Korean anxiety, key data pointed to a resurgence in the US economic cycle. Though the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey captured financial markets’ attention last week considering the immediate impact on energy commodities and stocks, the economic interruption is forecast to be offset by rebuilding activity. Supporting the greenback was a fresh reading of second quarter GDP, which showed the US economy grew by an upwardly revised 3.00%. Consumer confidence also held up well, with the overall Conference Board index hitting 122.9 last month. However, August payroll figures only grew by 156,000 jobs, pushing the unemployment rate to 4.40%.
Across the Atlantic, a new round of Brexit talks began last Monday, with the European Union’s top negotiator Michel Barnier saying no "decisive progress" was made. GBPUSD ended the month near the lows of its range, suggesting further weakness could be in store. Across the English Channel, Euro Area inflation edged up to a higher than anticipated rate, climbing to 1.50% from 1.30% in July thanks to rising energy prices. To top off the week, China’s official manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index came in at 51.7 for August, mitigating concerns that slowing growth and high debt levels threaten to derail the economy.