2 September 2016. Australian Market Update

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•         Authorities in Singapore, said they had detected 151 people with the Zika virus, including a second pregnant woman, as of midday Thursday. The first locally-transmitted Zika infection was reported on Saturday. Meanwhile, Takeda Pharmaceutical has won US government funding to help develop a vaccine for the Zika virus: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-09-01/takeda-gets-up-to-312-million-in-u-s-funding-for-zika-vaccine
•         Companies building a multi-billion dollar bridge to link the Russian mainland with annexed Crimea, a project close to the heart President Vladimir Putin, were targeted by the United States in an updated sanctions blacklist on Thursday.
•         Apple’s Chief Executive Tim Cook described an EU ruling that it must pay a huge tax bill to Ireland as “total political crap”, but France joined Germany on Thursday in backing Brussels as transatlantic tensions grow. European Competition Commissioner Vestager dismissed Cook’s broadside, saying the demand for a 13 billion euro back tax payment was based on the facts. But in Ireland itself, the government and public opinion are divided over whether to take the windfall – which would fund the country’s health system for a year – or reject it in the hope of maintaining a low tax regime that has attracted many multinationals, creating jobs.
•         An explosion destroyed a Falcon 9 rocket belonging to Elon Musk’s SpaceX and its cargo during preparations for a routine test firing at Cape Canaveral in Florida on Thursday, two days before it had been due to blast off and place a satellite in orbit.
•         Treasuries rise, dollar falls as Fed bets recede on factory data: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-08-31/most-asian-stock-futures-pace-u-s-drop-with-oil-near-2-week-low
•         U.S. factory activity contracted in August for the first time in six months as new orders and production tumbled, but a low level of layoffs continued to point to a pickup in economic growth in the third quarter. The ISM said its index of national factory activity fell 3.2 percentage points to a reading of 49.4 last month. That was the first contraction since February. The index remains above the 43.2 threshold that is associated with a recession.
•         Up ahead is Friday night’s release of the US government’s closely watched employment report for August, which economists say could determine whether the Fed raises interest rates again later this month or in December. According to a Reuters survey, nonfarm payrolls likely increased by 180,000 jobs in August after rising by 255,000 in July. The unemployment rate is seen falling one-tenth of a percentage point to 4.8 percent.
•         Activity in China’s manufacturing sector unexpectedly expanded at its fastest pace in nearly two years in August as construction boomed, suggesting the economy is steadying in response to stronger government spending.The official Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) rose to 50.4 in August from 49.9 in July.
Fx Market In Detail.
•         The dollar index fell on Thursday after US manufacturing activity unexpectedly declined in August, casting some doubts on the strength of US economic growth.
•         Pound bulls encouraged by signs of post-Brexit economic optimism: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-09-01/pound-jumps-as-u-k-manufacturing-adds-to-post-brexit-optimism
•         Global currency trading fell to a daily average of $5.1 trillion in April, the Bank for International Settlements said on Thursday, the first contraction shown in its triennial survey of the world’s largest financial market since 2001. The 5.5 percent decline from a record $5.4 trillion a day average three years ago comes as the industry faces a continued regulatory squeeze on bank trading.
•         The Canadian dollar made small gains against a broadly weaker U.S. counterpart on Thursday as oil prices slumped and an unexpected decline in U.S. manufacturing data cast some doubt on economic growth there ahead of a key jobs report on Friday.
Regards All.

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