Highlights:

  • Equities traded in a relative tight range in August but finished modestly higher.

  • Crude oil prices recovered 7.5% on talks of possible production freezes from OPEC and non-OPEC countries when they meet in late September.

  • China economic data was a little softer with declines in industrial production and retail sales growth.

  • US economic data was somewhat mixed. The July non-farm payrolls figure was better than expected which lead US Federal Reserve officials to begin talking about further interest rate rises.

  • Economic data in Europe was a little softer with the core annual inflation rate slipping from 0.9% to 0.8% in August. 

  • Australia’s economy grew at the strongest annual rate in four years with growth of 3.3% year-on-year in the June quarter.  However, household consumption growth was weaker while government spending much stronger than in the prior quarter.

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