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Here is what you need to know on Friday, August 23rd:
– All eyes are on Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell. The world’s most powerful central bank speaks at Jackson Hole and markets are eager to know if the Fed will cut rates in September or not. Leading into the event, Fed officials have reiterated their positions – dovish or hawkish – reflecting the split that was also seen in the FOMC Meeting Minutes.
– The market mood is calmer ahead of the gathering and as there has been no escalation in trade tensions. US bond yields are on the rise. Some analysts said yields all over the world have fallen too far.  
– Brexit: French President Emmanuel Macron said that the Irish Backstop is “indispensable” but reluctantly agreed to hear any other solutions that UK prime minister Boris Johnson may come up with. Johnson’s visit to Paris followed a warm welcome in Berlin, where Chancellor Angela Merkel. In the past, the EU rejected “alternative arrangements” – technological solutions to prevent erecting up a physical border on the isle of Ireland. GBP/USD jumped on willingness to talk.
– EUR/USD is on the back foot after optimism from better-than-expected euro-zone purchasing managers’ indexes faded. The data still point to a slump in German manufacturing.  
– USD/CAD is trading steadily above 1.3300 ahead of Canadian retail sales figures for June. Earlier this week, Canada’s inflation report beat expectations.
– Cryptocurrencies are recovering, with Bitcoin topping $10,000.
News previews:
– Canadian retail sales (USD/CAD)
– Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s speech (EUR/USD)