RBA Leaves Rates Unch

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STOCK INDEX FUTURES  

NASDAQ futures advanced to a record high in the overnight trade. However, U.S. stock index futures are lower now as traders focus on U.S.-China tensions and fiscal stimulus worries.

Stimulus discussions in Washington remain in focus.

The 9:00 central time June factory orders report is expected to show a 5.2% increase.

Stock index futures are likely to at least partially recover from the morning lower prices.

CURRENCY FUTURES

The U.S. dollar index fell to a two-year low late last week but is starting out higher in the new month.

After its worst month in a decade in July, the greenback started August on a firmer note as some traders reduced their short positions.

Some of the bears on the greenback are speculating that the Federal Reserve may loosen its approach to inflation, which is something analysts believe could happen at its next policy meeting in September.

The British pound is lower due to increased speculation that the Bank of England will lower its key interest rate to zero at its November policy meeting.

The Australian dollar advanced after the Reserve Bank of Australia kept its official cash rate and 3-year yield target unchanged at 25 basis points, which was in line with expectations.

RBA Governor Philip Lowe said the downturn in the economy is not as severe as earlier expected and a recovery is now underway in most of Australia.

INTEREST RATE MARKET FUTURES

Futures are mostly higher on the belief that the Federal Reserve will keep interest rates low for a longer period of time.

There are no major Federal Reserve speakers scheduled for today.

The next Federal Open Market Committee meeting is scheduled for September 16. Financial futures markets are predicting there is an 88% probability that the FOMC will maintain its fed funds target rate at zero to 25 basis points.

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