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Are Fiscal Policy Measures Working?

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Central bank season kicks off, Saudi Arabia and Russia agree to cooperate without giving details, and pound bears are licking their wounds. Here are some of the things people in markets are talking about today.

Central bank month

The Reserve Bank of Australia held rates unchanged overnight in what was Glenn Stevens' final meeting after 10 years as governor of the central bank. The Aussie dollar rose after the decision, which was in line with economist expectations, was announced. On Thursday the European Central Bank is due to make its latest monetary policy decision, and, while expectations are low for any meaningful change in policy, continuing weak inflation and sluggish growth in the single-currency area mean most economists surveyed by Bloomberg predict an extension of the current asset-purchase program. With August payrolls data out of the way, market futures now see a 32 percent probability of a Fed rate raise at its meeting later this month. September's most interesting central bank policy meeting may come from Japan, as the BOJ is engaged in a review of its monetary policy while investors are starting to sell the country's bonds.

Saudi-Russia deal 

The pledge by the world's top two oil producers to cooperate to stabilize global crude markets has left the commodity shaken, but not stirred. The lack of an agreement to freeze production means that Brent crude oil is trading at $47.28 a barrel this morning, having risen as high as $49.32 yesterday. 

Pound bears lick wounds

The pound was trading 0.25 percent higher at $1.3336 at 6:15 a.m. ET this morning, rising for a fifth straight day against the dollar. Deutsche Bank AG and UniCredit SpA have both wound back sterling short positions as data show the U.K. economy may be proving more resilient to the Brexit vote than was originally anticipated. Bank of England Governor Mark Carney will face a grilling from lawmakers tomorrow as some say he was too quick to cut rates following the vote. 

Markets rise

Overnight, the MSCI Asia Pacific Index gained 0.7 percent, with the benchmark gauge headed for its highest level in more than a year. In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index was flat at 6:19 a.m. ET in a session that has seen swings between gains and losses as investors await Thursday's ECB decision. S&P 500 futures were 0.1 percent higher

Trump leads in CNN poll

The race for the White House is far from over, with a CNN/ORC poll this morning putting Republican nominee Donald Trump 2 points ahead of Democrat Hillary Clinton. The current U.S. President, meanwhile, has cancelled a meeting with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte in Lima after Duterte launched an expletive-laden tirade against Obama.

What we've been reading 

This is what's caught our eye over the long weekend.

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