Anything but a quiet month

Unlike a typical summer month, August was anything but quiet for financial markets, as an escalating trade war and growing concerns that a US recession may be on the horizon kept investors on their toes.

The Trump administration hit China with new tariffs and Beijing responded in kind before long, leading traders to pile into the safety of haven assets such as the Japanese yen and gold, with the latter touching new six-year highs.

On the opposite side of the risk spectrum, the kiwi dollar was the worst-performing major currency, after the Reserve Bank of New Zealand slashed rates by more than anticipated to safeguard the trade-sensitive economy from the US-China fallout. The dollar, euro, and pound had a volatile month, trading in relatively wide ranges, but were little changed overall.

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