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20.09.2019
10:04 PM


Dollar Stays Firm Against Most Rivals

The U.S. dollar stayed positive right through the session on Friday amid hopes the Federal Reserve is unlikely to announce aggressive cuts in interest rate.

Optimism about trade talks too contributed to the dollar's rise on Friday. However, reports that the Chinese officials have changed their travel plans to head back to China earlier than scheduled have raised doubts about the progress of negotiations between the two countries.

The dollar index, which rose to 98.64 around noon, eased to 98.47 later on in the day. Still, it was up 0.2% from previous close.

Against the euro, the dollar was up 0.2% at 1.1019, despite an improvement in Eurozone consumer confidence.

Preliminary data from the European Commission showed eurozone consumer confidence improved in September to its highest level in four months, after weakening in August.

The flash consumer confidence index climbed to -6.5 from -7.1 in August. Economist had forecast a modest improvement to -7. The latest reading was the highest since May, when it was at the same -6.5 level.

The Pound sterling was weaker by about 0.4% with a unit of sterling fetching $1.2474, compared with $1.2522 late Thursday. Lingering worries about Brexit uncertainty weighed on the British currency.

Against the Yen, the dollar was weaker by about 0.45%. The yen was trading at 107.54 a dollar, recovering from its overnight level of 108.02 a dollar.

The dollar was up marginally against the loonie with the dollar-loonie pair at 1.3268, after data showed a drop in Canada's core retail sales.

Data from Statistics Canada showed that core retail sales, excluding motor vehicle and parts dealers, dropped 0.1% in July after rising 0.9% in the previous month. Retail sales rose 0.4% on a seasonally adjusted monthly basis in July following a flat reading last month. Economists had forecast a 0.6% increase.

Against Swiss franc, the dollar shed about 0.16% at 0.9911, while it declined nearly 0.5% against the Aussie at 0.6761.


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20.09.2019
09:35 PM


Oil Ends Slightly Up For The Session, But Gains Almost 6% In Week

Crude oil futures settled lower on Friday, but still managed to record a gain of nearly 6% for the week.

Oil futures pared early gains today as traders weighed the impact last week's attack on Saudi oil infrastructure and the likely scenario of lower energy demand due to the ongoing trade dispute between the U.S. and China.

Concerns about supply after the devastating drone attacks on Saudi oil facilities last Saturday lifted oil prices sharply earlier this week, but reports about restoration of production resulted in prices taking a retreat for a couple of sessions.

Still, the steep climb on Monday proved solid enough to guide oil futures to a weekly gain.

West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures for October ended down $0.04, or 0.07%, at $58.09 a barrel on the expiration day.

Crude oil futures for November ended down $0.10, or about 0.2%, at $58.09 a barrel.

For the week, WTI crude oil futures gained 5.9%, the biggest weekly gain in nearly three months.

According to a report from Baker Hughes, U.S. oil rig count declined for a fifth successive week, with the number of active rigs falling by 14 to 719 this week. The total rig count dropped to 868, down 18 from previous week.


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20.09.2019
09:32 PM


Gold Futures Settle Notably Higher

Gold prices rose on Friday as an escalation in geopolitical tensions and uncertainty about the U.S. and China agreeing on a trade deal anytime soon forced traders to seek the safe haven asset.

A steady dollar limited gold's uptick. The dollar index rose to 98.60, gaining about 0.33%.

Gold futures for December ended up $8.90, or about 0.6%, at $1,515.10 an ounce.

For the week, gold futures gained about 1%, registering their first weekly gain in a month.

Silver futures for December ended down $0.035, at $17.849 an ounce, while Copper futures for December settled at $2.6065 per pound, down $0.020 from previous close.

U.S. President Donald Trump today announced more sanctions on Iran. Following Trump's orders, the Treasury Department imposed sanctions on Iran's central bank in response to the attacks on Saudi Arabian oil facilities last weekend.

The Treasury Department claims Iran's Central Bank has provided billions of dollars to the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, its Quds Force, or IRGC-QF, and its terrorist proxy, Hizballah.

Sanctions were also imposed on Iran's National Development Fund, or NDF. The Treasury also took action against Etemad Tejarate Pars Co., an Iran-based company allegedly used to conceal financial transfers for MODAFL's military purchases, including funds originating from the NDF.

Meanwhile, on the trade front, China reportedly cut short its trade negotiations with the U.S. According to reports, Chinese agricultural officials plan to return to China earlier than originally scheduled.

Earlier in the day, Trump had stated that he was looking for a complete trade deal with China and that it didn't need to come before the 2020 election.


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20.09.2019
08:31 PM


Treasuries Turn Higher As Chinese Negotiators Cut U.S. Trip Short

After recovering from an initial move to the downside, treasuries moved modestly higher over the course of the trading session on Friday.

Bond prices turned higher as the day progressed, extending a recent upward trend. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, dipped 1.9 basis points to 1.755 percent.

With the turnaround, the ten-year yield closed lower for the fifth straight day, pulling back further after ending last Friday's trading at its highest closing level in over a month.

Treasuries moved to the upside following news that Chinese trade negotiators canceled a scheduled visit to U.S. farm states next week.

The Chinese delegation was in Washington this week for deputy-level trade talks and had been scheduled to visit American farms next week as a gesture of goodwill.

However, the Montana Farm Bureau revealed that the visit has been canceled, as the delegation is heading back to China sooner than expected.

The news offset some of the recent optimism about a potential end to the U.S.-China trade war, with the deputy-level talks expected to help pave the way for more productive high-level talks next month. Comments from President Donald Trump indicating he is not interest in a "partial deal" with China also dashed hopes of a possible "interim deal."

Trump also told reporters he doesn't think he needs to reach a trade deal with China before the 2020 elections, claiming the U.S. is not being affected by the trade war.

Next week's trading may be impacted by a batch of key U.S. economic data, including reports on consumer confidence, new home sales, durable goods orders and personal income and spending.

Bond traders are also likely to keep an eye on the results of the Treasury Department's auctions of two-year, five-year, and seven-year notes.


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20.09.2019
06:45 PM


Rosengren Warns Of Risks Of Further Monetary Policy Accommodation

With U.S. economic growth continuing at a solid rate despite the U.S.-China trade war, Boston Federal Reserve President Eric Rosengren has argued that it is not necessary and potentially risky for the central bank to lower interest rates.

Rosengren, who has voted against the last two interest rate cuts by the Fed, explained his decision in a speech at the Stern School of Business at New York University on Friday.

"Current economic conditions are quite favorable, and stable, and private forecasters expect those conditions to remain quite similar through the end of the year," Rosengren said.

He added, "The data we have in hand suggest instead that the recovery would continue apace even with little monetary policy accommodation."

Rosengren noted that real GDP grew by 2 percent in the second quarter despite trade-related impediments and that forecasts indicate growth will continue at close to 2 percent.

The Boston Fed President argued monetary policy is already accommodative and warned further accommodation in response to risks to the economic outlook entails costs and introduces risks of its own.

"The current situation involves pushing rates lower when asset prices, and in particular some risky asset prices, already seem inflated," Rosengren said. "I don't see current financial risks as causing a downturn, but such conditions have the potential to amplify a downturn should it occur."

He continued, "Additional accommodation is not needed for an economy where labor markets are already tight - and risks further inflating the prices of riskier assets, and encouraging households and firms to take on what may be too much leverage."

Reflecting a divide at the Fed, Rosengren's speech comes the same day St. Louis Fed President James Bullard released a statement explaining his preference for cutting interest rates by 50 basis points at the Fed meeting earlier this week.

The Fed lowered interest by 25 basis points as expected on Wednesday but indicated officials are mixed about whether the central bank should cut rates again before the end of the year.

Bullard attributed his preference for a steeper rate cut to signs that U.S. economic growth is expected to slow in the near horizon.

"Trade policy uncertainty remains elevated, U.S. manufacturing already appears in recession, and many estimates of recession probabilities have risen from low to moderate levels," Bullard said.

He added, "Moreover, the yield curve is inverted, and our policy rate remains above government bond yields for nearly every country in the G-7."

Bullard also pointed to tame inflation, noting readings on consumer price growth continue to run well below the Fed's 2 percent target and that inflation is expected to remain muted.

"In light of these developments, I believe that lowering the target range for the federal funds rate by 50 basis points at this time would provide insurance against further declines in expected inflation and a slowing economy subject to elevated downside risks," Bullard said.

He continued, "It is prudent risk management, in my view, to cut the policy rate aggressively now and then later increase it should the downside risks not materialize."


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20.09.2019
03:48 PM


Bullard Explains Preference For Bigger Interest Rate Cut

St. Louis Federal Reserve President James Bullard was one of three voting members of the Federal Open Market Committee that voted against the Fed's quarter-point rate cut on Wednesday, preferring a more substantial rate cut than his colleagues.

Bullard explained his preference for a 50 basis point rate cut in a statement on Friday, citing signs that U.S. economic growth is expected to slow in the near horizon.

"Trade policy uncertainty remains elevated, U.S. manufacturing already appears in recession, and many estimates of recession probabilities have risen from low to moderate levels," Bullard said.

He added, "Moreover, the yield curve is inverted, and our policy rate remains above government bond yields for nearly every country in the G-7."

Bullard also pointed to tame inflation, noting readings on consumer price growth continue to run well below the Fed's 2 percent target and that inflation is expected to remain muted.

"In light of these developments, I believe that lowering the target range for the federal funds rate by 50 basis points at this time would provide insurance against further declines in expected inflation and a slowing economy subject to elevated downside risks," Bullard said.

He continued, "It is prudent risk management, in my view, to cut the policy rate aggressively now and then later increase it should the downside risks not materialize."

Reflecting a divide at the Fed, Kansas City Fed President Esther George and Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren also voted against the 25 basis point rate cut, although they preferred to leave rates unchanged.

The Fed's economic projections suggest that the meeting participants were also divided about the outlook for interest rates.

While seven participants expect another rate cut before the end of year, five expect rates to remain unchanged and another five expect rates to be raised back to 2 to 2-1/4 percent.

Bullard's views on monetary policy seem slightly more in line with those of President Donald Trump, who has urged the Fed to slash interest rates to zero or less

"Jay Powell and the Federal Reserve Fail Again. No 'guts,' no sense, no vision! A terrible communicator!" Trump tweeted shortly after the more modest rate cut.

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said in his post-meeting press conference that the central bank is prepared for a more "extensive sequence of rate cuts" in the face of an economic downturn but noted that is not currently expected.

Powell also told reporters that he does not foresee the Fed using negative interest rates as a policy tool, as Trump has suggested.

"If we were to find ourselves at some future date again at the effect of a lower bound, again not something we are expecting, then I think we would look at using large scale asset purchases and forward guidance," Powell said.


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20.09.2019
03:13 PM


Eurozone Consumer Confidence At 4-month High

Eurozone consumer confidence improved in September to its highest level in four months, after weakening in August, preliminary data from the European Commission showed on Friday.

The flash consumer confidence index climbed to -6.5 from -7.1 in August. Economist had forecast a modest improvement to -7.

The latest reading was the highest since May, when it was at the same -6.5 level.

The consumer confidence indicator for EUR climbed by 0.6 points to -6.4 in September.

The European Commission is set to release the final figure for consumer confidence along with the monthly economic sentiment data on September 27.


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20.09.2019
03:04 PM


Euro Little Changed After Eurozone Consumer Sentiment Index

Eurozone flash consumer sentiment index for September has been released at 10:00 am ET Friday. Following the data, the euro changed little against its major counterparts.

The euro was trading at 119.04 against the yen, 0.8832 against the pound, 1.0937 against the franc and 1.1022 against the greenback around 10:02 am ET.


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20.09.2019
03:04 PM


*Eurozone Sept Flash Consumer Confidence -6.5 Vs. -7.1 In Aug, Consensus -7

Eurozone Sept Flash Consumer Confidence -6.5 Vs. -7.1 In Aug, Consensus -7


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20.09.2019
02:37 PM


Canadian Dollar Falls Vs Yen, U.S. Dollar As Core Retail Sales Disappoint

The Canadian dollar slipped against the yen and the U.S. dollar in the European session on Friday, as a data showed that the nation's core retail sales fell unexpectedly in July.

Data from Statistics Canada showed that core retail sales, excluding motor vehicle and parts dealers, dropped 0.1 percent in July after rising 0.9 percent in the previous month. Economists were looking for a gain of 0.3 percent.

Retail sales rose 0.4 percent on a seasonally adjusted monthly basis in July following a flat reading last month. Economists had forecast a 0.6 percent increase.

Meanwhile, crude oil prices rose amid rising worries about geopolitical tensions in the Middle East.

Traders were weighing the likely impact of Tropical storm Imelda on Texas where a major refinery has cut production and shut a crucial oil pipeline and some terminals, and possible drop in energy demand due to slowing global economy.

The currency was lower against its major counterparts in the Asian session, excepting the aussie.

The loonie dropped to 81.20 against the yen from Thursday's closing value of 81.42. Next key support for the loonie is likely seen around the 80.00 level.

Data from the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications showed that Japan consumer prices rose 0.3 percent on year in August.

That was in line with expectations and slowing from 0.5 percent in July - moving further away from the Bank of Japan's target range of 2.0 percent.

The loonie that closed Thursday's trading at 1.3261 against the greenback depreciated to 1.3293. The loonie is seen finding support around the 1.35 region.

In contrast, the loonie remained higher against the aussie, with the pair trading at 0.9007. This may be compared to a fresh 2-week high of 0.8991 seen in the Asian session. On the upside, 0.89 is possibly seen as the next resistance for the loonie.

The loonie was trading at 1.4638 against the euro, up from a low of 1.4684 hit at 3:00 am ET. The loonie is likely to find resistance around the 1.44 level.

Data from Destatis showed that Germany's producer price inflation eased more than expected in August.

Producer prices grew only 0.3 percent year-on-year, slower than the 1.1 percent increase in July. Prices were forecast to rise 0.6 percent.

Looking ahead, Eurozone flash consumer sentiment index for September will be out at 10:00 am ET.

At 11:20 am ET, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston President Eric Rosengren will give a speech about the credit cycle at an event hosted by New York University.


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20.09.2019
02:33 PM


*Nigeria CB Holds Key Interest Rate Unchanged At 13.50%

Nigeria CB Holds Key Interest Rate Unchanged At 13.50%


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20.09.2019
02:20 PM


Belgium Consumer Confidence Weakens For Second Month

Belgium's consumer confidence weakened for a second straight month in September, survey data from the National Bank of Belgium showed on Friday.

The consumer confidence index dropped to -11 from -9 in August. In July, the score was -6.

The latest downturn in confidence among consumers stems primarily from the anticipated worsening of the situation on the labor market, the bank said.

The indicator reflecting unemployment expectations for the next twelve months climbed to 18 from 13. An increase in the measure indicates a deterioration, the bank said.


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20.09.2019
02:11 PM


*Belgium Sept Consumer Confidence -11 Vs. -9 In August

Belgium Sept Consumer Confidence -11 Vs. -9 In August


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20.09.2019
01:37 PM


*Canadian Dollar Declines To 81.20 Against Yen

Canadian Dollar Declines To 81.20 Against Yen


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20.09.2019
01:35 PM


*Canadian Dollar Drops To 1.3293 Versus U.S. Dollar After Retail Sales

Canadian Dollar Drops To 1.3293 Versus U.S. Dollar After Retail Sales


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20.09.2019
01:33 PM


Loonie Slides After Canada Retail Sales

Following the release of Canada retail sales for July at 8:30 am ET Friday, the loonie dropped against its major counterparts.

The loonie was trading at 1.3288 against the dollar, 81.25 against the yen, 1.4647 against the euro and 0.9019 against the aussie around 8:31 am ET.


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20.09.2019
01:31 PM


*Canadian Retail Sales Rise 0.4% In July

Canadian Retail Sales Rise 0.4% In July


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20.09.2019
01:26 PM


Loonie Mixed Ahead Of Canada Retail Sales

Canada retail sales for July are due from Statistics Canada at 8:30 am ET Friday. The loonie traded mixed against its major counterparts before the data. While the loonie rose against the euro and the aussie, it held steady against the dollar and the yen.

The loonie was worth 1.3262 against the dollar, 81.40 against the yen, 1.4627 against the euro and 0.9003 against the aussie as of 8:25 am ET.


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20.09.2019
01:22 PM


India Cuts Corporate Tax Rates To Boost Growth

India's government on Friday announced a reduction in the corporate tax rate to boost a weaker economy that grew at the slowest pace in six years in the June quarter and prompted several companies to shed jobs massively.

The tax on income of domestic companies was lowered to 22 percent from 30 percent, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said. The effective tax rate after surcharge will be 25.2 percent versus 35 percent earlier.

The rate on new domestic companies, which will be incorporated after October 1 this year, was cut to 15 percent. Their effective rate will be 17.01 percent.

The new rate will take effect for the current fiscal year that started on April 1. The government has foregone a total revenue of INR 1.45 trillion or over $20 billion a year.

In July, the government had lowered the fiscal deficit target for 2019-20 to 3.3 percent of GDP from 3.4 percent projected in February. With the latest announcement, the government is likely to miss this target.

"We are conscious of the impact it will have on our fiscal deficit," Sitharaman said.

The minister also waived the buyback tax of listed companies that announced the scheme before July 5.

The Minimum Alternate Tax was reduced to 15 percent from the existing 18.5 percent for companies that continue to avail government exemptions and incentives.

In order to stabilize the flow of funds into the capital market, the minister scrapped the enhanced surcharge on capital gains arising from the sale of equity shares or equity oriented funds.

Further, the minister said the enhanced surcharge, dubbed the super rich tax, will not apply to capital gains arising on sale of any security including derivatives owned by foreign portfolio investors.

Fiscal loosening measures announced by Sitharaman are likely to provide a small boost to economic growth over the coming quarters, but significantly increase the chances of the ministry missing its budget deficit target this year, Capital Economics economist Shilan Shah said.

Reserve Bank of India Governor Shaktikanta Das welcomed the latest government measures.

At an event organized by Bloomberg News on Friday, Das signaled further rate cuts, saying low inflation provides room for policy manoeuvre.

The central bank has already reduced the rate four times this year to the lowest level since 2010.

Nonetheless, India's economic growth slowed to a six-year low of 5 percent in the June quarter. Earlier the RBI had projected real GDP growth of 6.9 percent for 2019-20.


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20.09.2019
01:12 PM


Finland Current Account Logs Deficit In Q2

Finland's current account logged a deficit in the second quarter, Statistics Finland reported Friday.

The current account balance showed a surplus of EUR 3.6 billion versus a surplus of EUR 703 million in the first quarter.

The balance of goods and services showed a deficit of EUR 0.4 billion. The primary income account was EUR 2.7 billion in deficit and the secondary income account EUR 0.5 billion in deficit.

At the end of the second quarter, Finland had EUR 821.9 billion in foreign assets on gross and EUR 813.5 billion in foreign liabilities on gross.


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20.09.2019
12:39 PM


Ireland Wholesale Price Decline Slows In August

Ireland's wholesale prices fell at a slower rate in August, data from the Central Statistics Office showed on Friday.

The wholesale price index fell 4.4 percent year-on-year in August, following a 5.9 percent decline in July. In June, prices decreased 6.8 percent.

On a monthly basis, wholesale prices rose 0.3 percent in August, after a 0.7 percent fall in the previous month.

The prices for export sales increased by 0.3 percent monthly in August and import sales rose by 0.1 percent.


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20.09.2019
12:38 PM


Latvia Producer Price Inflation Slows For Eighth Month

Latvia's producer price inflation slowed for the eight straight month in August, figures from the Central Statistical Bureau showed on Friday.

The producer price index rose 0.4 percent year-on-year in August, after a 1.5 percent increase in July.

Among components, prices in water supply grew 4.0 percent annually in August and those in electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply rose by 3.4 percent.

Mining and quarrying prices increased by 0.9 percent, while manufacturing prices fell 0.4 percent.

Domestic market prices rose 2.4 percent in August, while those in foreign market fell 1.4 percent.

On a monthly basis, producer prices fell 0.1 percent in August.


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20.09.2019
12:37 PM


Slovenia Output Price Inflation Steady In August

Slovenia's output price inflation stable in August, figures from the Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia showed on Friday.

Output prices rose 0.2 percent year-on-year in August, the same rate as seen in July.

Energy prices rose 12.0 percent annually in August, while prices of intermediate goods fell 1.1 percent.

Prices for electricity and water supply rose by 15.7 percent and 9.0 percent, respectively.

On a monthly basis, output prices rose 0.1 percent in August, reversing a 0.1 percent fall in the previous month.


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20.09.2019
12:33 PM


Hong Kong Inflation At 3-year High

Hong Kong's consumer price inflation rose unexpectedly in August to its highest level in three years, data from the Census and Statistics Department showed on Friday.

The consumer price index rose 3.5 percent year-on-year in August, following a 3.3 percent increase in July. Economists had expected a 3.1 percent rise.

The latest inflation rate was the highest since August 2016, when prices rose 4.3 percent.

Excluding the effects of all government's one-off relief measures, inflation was 3.4 percent in August versus 3.2 percent in the preceding month.

Food prices grew 6.3 percent annually in August, while prices of electricity, gas and water declined 5.2 percent. Housing cost grew 3.9 percent

The climb in headline inflation in August was mainly due to an accelerated increase in pork prices amid continued disruptions to the supply of fresh pork, a government spokesman said.

"Looking ahead, modest global inflation and sluggish local economic growth should continue to help contain overall inflation," the spokesman said.

"Yet, food inflation will probably stay elevated in the near term due to high prices of fresh pork."


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20.09.2019
12:25 PM


Poland August Retail Sales Growth Slows

Poland's retail sales growth slowed in August from last year, figures from Statistics Poland showed on Friday.

Retail sales climbed 4.4 percent year-on-year in August, after a 6.7 percent rise in the same month last year. Economists had expected a 6.5 percent growth.

Sales in non-specialized stores grew 12.0 percent annually in August and those of furniture, radio, TV and household appliances rose 11.6 percent.

Sales of textiles, clothing, footwear, and pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, orthopedic equipment increased by 7.2 percent and 6.8 percent, respectively.

On a monthly basis, retail sales edged up 0.1 percent in August.


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