Good morning! Here’s what you need to know.
Greece will vote on the country’s bailout today. Greece on Wednesday is gearing up for a crucial parliamentary vote on draconian reforms demanded by eurozone creditors in exchange for a huge new bailout, in what could be Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ toughest political test yet.
Chinese growth was a shade stronger than expected. The economy grew at an annual pace of 7.0% in the three months to June, beating the median market forecast for growth of 6.9%. Despite the beat, the figure marks the equal-lowest level of growth seen since the March quarter of 2009.
But Chinese markets still slumped. The Shanghai Composite is down 3.92% as of 6:45 a.m. UK time (2:45 a.m. US), and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng is down 0.79%. Japan’s Nikkei, however, is up 0.36%.
Toshiba’s CEO will step down. Toshiba Chief Executive Hisao Tanaka will step down in September along with other board members including Vice Chairman Norio Sasaki to take responsibility for accounting irregularities, sources familiar with the matter said. The Japanese conglomerate has hired a third-party committee to investigate past book-keeping practices, and sources have said the probe was focusing on the role top officials played.
Toyota is recalling hundreds of thousands of cars. Toyota said on Wednesday it would recall about 625,000 hybrid cars globally to fix a software glitch that could, in limited cases, shut down the hybrid system while the car is being driven.
British unemployment and earnings data is coming. The May data is out at 9:30 a.m. UK time (4:30 a.m. New York). Analysts are expecting unemployment to stay flat at 5.5%, but for wage growth to climb to 3% year-on-year excluding bonuses.
A move against genetically modified food passed a key hurdle in Congress. US food companies and other opponents of genetically modified food labelling notched a key victory on Tuesday as the House Agriculture Committee approved a measure banning mandatory labelling as well as local efforts to regulate genetically engineered crops.
Celgene, a US bio-pharmaceutical firm, announced a major takeover. Celgene Corp said it agreed to buy Receptos Inc for about $US7.2 billion (£4.60 billion) to expand its pipeline with Receptos’ immune-inflammatory bowel drug, Ozanimod. Celgene will pay $US232 (£148.30) in cash for every Receptos share, representing a 12% premium to the company’s closing price on Tuesday.
The Bank of Japan is expecting lower growth and inflation. Japan’s central bank on Wednesday cut its annual growth and inflation forecasts for the world’s third-largest economy, with analysts warning weaknesses remained and the downgrade hinted at a disappointing second quarter.
Japan’s government passed a key hurdle in bulking up the country’s military capability. Legislation for a dramatic change in Japan’s defence policy that could allow troops to fight abroad for the first time since World War Two was approved by a lower house panel on Wednesday, despite opposition from a majority of ordinary voters.