Greece’s Alexis Tsipras is expected to meet Angela Merkel today. Tsipras was expected to meet with the German Chancellor in Brussels Wednesday after the EU’s top official for the euro said a breakthrough bailout deal was “days” away.
A Bank of Japan board member cast doubts on the country’s massive quantitative easing scheme. Bank of Japan board member Takehiro Sato on Wednesday warned of diminishing returns and potential drawbacks of maintaining the central bank’s massive stimulus program for too long, such as delaying government efforts to fix Japan’s tattered finances.
And Bank of Japan chief Haruhiko Kuroda said it was hard to imagine the yen falling further. According to Bloomberg, the dollar slumped against the Japanese currency after Kuroda’s suggestion that Japan’s exchange rate is very weak. The dollar is currently worth 122.55 yen, down 1.43%.
Brazil just announced a colossal infrastructure programme. Brazil announced a $US64 billion (£41.53 billion) infrastructure spending package on Tuesday, hoping to revive its flagging economy with investment in highways, railroads, ports and airports. Businesses and analysts have long pointed to overburdened infrastructure as a drag on the world’s seventh-largest economy, which pays high prices to ship the raw materials it exports.
UK industrial production figures are coming. April’s industrial production stats are out at 9:30 a.m. London time (4:30 a.m. New York). Analysts are expecting a 0.1% boost on the month, leaving production up just 0.6% on the year.
The US and G7 are ready to hit Russia with more sanctions if needed. “The United States and our G7 allies stand ready to impose significant additional sanctions on Russia if needed to respond to its aggressive acts in eastern Ukraine,” an official quoted US Treasury Secretary Jack Lew as saying.
Asian markets are up a little. Japan’s Nikkei is 0.18% higher currently, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng is up 0.36%. The Shanghai Composite Index is up 0.26%.
Apple Music is under legal scrutiny, even though it only just launched. The attorneys general of New York and Connecticut are investigating Apple Inc’s negotiations with music companies to look for signs of potential antitrust violations. The attorneys general want to know whether music labels colluded or were pressured into favouring Apple’s paid music subscription service, which was released on Monday.
British Chancellor George Osborne wants to pass a law requiring budget surpluses in normal times. Osborne wants to change the framework that’s used by the Treasury and Office for Budget Responsibility so that they should always be aiming to run a budget surplus, according to the Financial Times.
Pimco heavily cut its holdings of US debt ahead of the Fed’s expected interest rate hike. Pacific Investment Management Co (Pimco) said the Total Return fund’s holdings of US government-related debt fell to 8.5% in May, down from 23.4% in April.
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