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RBA appears in no hurry to ease

Emily Nicol
Chris Scicluna
  • As had been widely expected, the RBA kept the cash rate left unchanged at a record low of 0.75%. But while Governor Lowe’s policy statement maintained an easing bias, he also suggested that the RBA is in no hurry to adjust policy.

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Chinese markets in catch up mode

Emily Nicol
Chris Scicluna
  • China’s markets reopened from the Lunar New Year holiday and were inevitably in catch up mode as the number of reported cases of coronavirus continued to rise at a double-digit percentage daily rate. And even though heightening concerns about the associated economic impact is not yet fully reflected in surveys, Japan’s manufacturing PMI reported a downwards revision in January’s final release.  

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Japanese output making modest recovery

Emily Nicol
Chris Scicluna
  • A deluge of Japanese data overnight suggested that the recovery in the manufacturing and retailing sectors in December was inevitably not sufficient to offset the post-tax hike and natural disaster-associated plunge in activity seen earlier in the quarter. Inflation fell short of expectations at the end of 2019 too.

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Bank Rate to be cut (sooner or later)

Emily Nicol
Chris Scicluna
  • Given the upside surprise to January’s PMIs, today’s BoE rate decision looks too close to call. But if the MPC doesn’t move today, we fully expect Bank Rate to be cut before the summer. Elsewhere, risk aversion dominated Asian markets ahead of another meeting today of the WHO’s Emergency Committee on the coronavirus.

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CPI suggests RBA will keep powder dry

Emily Nicol
Chris Scicluna
  • Ahead of this evening’s Fed announcements, Australia’s latest CPI data saw investors add to bets that the RBA will leave rates unchanged next week. Consumer surveys from Japan, Germany and France gave somewhat mixed results. Many Asian markets took their cue from yesterday’s moves in the US, but Hong Kong reopened to play catch-up with the coronavirus.   

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