Central Banks Back in Action


New Zealand’s central bank cut its benchmark interest rate (here) and signaled it may ease further (here) as the economy softens amidst a sharp fall in export prices and a slowdown in earthquake reconstruction activity in Christchurch. The Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) cut its official cash rate (OCR) by 25 basis points to 2.75 percent as widely expected, delivering its third cut in as many policy reviews.

Another hot topic of Thursday’s morning was job report from Australia. Australia’s unemployment rate fell to 6.2% in August from 6.3% in July, as the number of people finding full-time and part-time work rose solidly.The jobless rate was in line with what economists surveyed by Bloomberg had been expecting.The total number of people employed rose by 17,400 in August, compared with an expected 8,000 rise, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said Thursday. 

In other news,China’s consumer inflation quickened in August, spurred by runaway pork prices, while producer prices slipped deeper into deflation, data showed on Thursday. China’s consumer price index (CPI) rose 2 percent in August from a year earlier, against expectations for a 1.8 percent rise from a Bloomberg poll and following July’s 1.6 percent gain.

The rate of inflation turned out to be weaker than expected in Sweden, fueling expectations that the Riksbank may be forced to cut rates further . On the other hand, the Consumer Price Index surprised to the upside in Norway (here) causing a short-term rally of the Norwegian Krone.
The market focuses now on the upcoming BOE meeting, with the decision due 12:00 BST