Good morning! Here is what you need to know on Wednesday.
1. It’d Fed day! With the Federal Reserve widely expected to raise interest rates on Wednesday, financial markets are focused on whether signs of an acceleration in US economic growth will prompt the central bank to ramp up the pace of monetary policy tightening. This week’s two-day policy meeting could mark the formal end of the “accommodative” level of rates the Fed has used to support the American economy since the onset of the 2007-2009 recession. Citigroup says to be prepared for a dovish rates announcement.
2. China’s state planner on Wednesday called for further advancement in the country’s $US3.8 trillion digital economy, saying sectors such as big data and artificial intelligence (AI) will become drivers of job creation. The Chinese economy is in the midst of a long-term restructuring that has seen the decline of low-end industries and the emergence of higher-value factories that make robotics and drones.
3. Rosmah Mansor, the wife of former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak, arrived on Wednesday at the country’s anti-graft agency for a second round of questioning over a corruption probe at state fund 1MDB. Her questioning comes amid indications that more charges could be filed in the investigation into how billions of dollars went missing from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).
4. A senior United Arab Emirates (UAE) official warned European powers on Tuesday that it was offering Iran a glimmer of hope by trying to keep trade flowing, but that ultimately they would fall behind the United States’ tough approach on Tehran.The UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Bahrain swiftly backed US President Donald Trump’s decision in May to withdraw from a 2015 international accord with Iran that curbed Tehran’s nuclear program in exchange for loosening economic sanctions. Meanwhile, White House national security adviser John Bolton on Tuesday dismissed an EU plan for a special payments plan to circumvent US sanctions against Iranian oil sales.
7. Deutsche Bank has looked at a theoretical scenario of merging with UBS, the German business daily Handelsblatt reported, citing people familiar with the matter. The scenario, along with a potential merger with Commerzbank, was discussed at the bank’s strategy meeting with the supervisory board earlier this month, Handelsblatt said.
8. England’s Football Association has reportedly agreed to sell Wembley Stadium to a US billionaire for £600 million. The FA board will vote on Thursday whether to sell the stadium to billionaire Shahid Khan, the Financial Times reported.
9.Oil benchmark Brent traded little changed on Wednesday after rising to its highest in nearly four years in the previous session. US crude futures fell as US officials tried to assure that the market would be well-supplied before sanctions are re-imposed on producer Iran.
10. British Prime Minister Theresa May will pledge on Wednesday that her government will be “unequivocally pro-business” as it seeks to forge a future role outside the European Union.May will say she has no plans to abandon her current Brexit plan, shrugging off criticism at home and in Brussels after an acrimonious meeting of EU leaders last week, according to extracts from a speech to be given to business leaders in New York.
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