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All about rates

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A look at the day ahead in European and global markets from Rae Wee

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) on Tuesday kept rates on hold, flagging stubborn domestic price pressures - a common theme that other central banks across the globe are grappling with.

The RBA's rate decision capped an otherwise uneventful day for Asia, and with a light data calendar in Europe, the focus turns back to political turmoil in the bloc, though futures suggest markets may get some respite after last week's beating.

Campaigning had kicked off on Monday for France's snap parliamentary election, which opinion polls suggest the far-right National Rally will win ahead of a left-wing alliance. President Emmanuel Macron's centrist group is trailing in third.

In the United States, May's retail sales are the main figures to watch and markets will also have speeches from no fewer than six Fed officials.

Expectations are for retail sales to have ticked slightly higher on a monthly basis in May after April's downside surprise, though the overall picture is still expected to point to slowing momentum in consumer spending.

As for Fed speak, policymakers are likely to sing from the same hymn sheet as Chair Jerome Powell last week, with last week's benign inflation report possibly giving some leeway to sound a little more dovish.

While the rest of the world looks to loosen monetary policy, in Japan, central bank governor Kazuo Ueda said interest rates could be raised next month depending on economic data, underscoring his resolve to further unwind massive stimulus.

That would typically be welcome news for the yen JPY=EBS, but the Japanese currency barely reacted and struggled on the weaker side of 157 per dollar on Tuesday.

Perhaps investors have learnt their lesson not to keep their hopes too high when it comes to the Bank of Japan, especially after last week's policy decision, which was a damp squib for those betting on an immediate reduction in bond purchases.

Key developments that could influence markets on Tuesday:

- U.S. retail sales (May)

- Fed's Barkin, Collins, Kugler, Logan, Musalem and Goolsbee speak

- Euro zone final HICP (May)

Euro zone, French stocks suffer from political uncertainty https://reut.rs/3Rwubzw

Editing by Sam Holmes


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