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Good morning. Here’s what you need to know.
- Markets in Asia sold off moderately in overnight trade, with Hong Kong’s Hang Seng down 0.3 per cent. Shares in Europe are marginally higher and U.S. futures point to a flat open.
- The Japanese economy expanded at an annual pace of 1.4 per cent, slower than the 2.3 per cent forecast economists were looking for. Construction spending continued to boost growth, as consumer spending increased at the lowest rate since the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
- Greece’s economy contracted by 6.2 per cent in the second quarter. That was slightly better than the 6.5 per cent decline seen in the first three months of the year and brings the country’s recession to five years. This is the beginning of the end game >
- Italy sold €8 billion worth of one year notes at a yield of 2.767 per cent, up from 2.697 per cent one month ago. Demand increased at the auction, with a bid-to-cover ratio of 1.69.
- Brent crude hit a three-month high this morning, as supply concerns continued to weigh on prices. Oil traded up to $114.46 a barrel, the highest level since the start of May. Peak oil guru Robert Hirsch gives a dire outlook for the future >
- Google will lay off roughly 4,000 employees from its newly acquired Motorola Mobility unit, or a quarter of the division. The company says two-thirds of the job cuts will come from outside the United States.
- Julius Baer agreed to purchase Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s international wealth-management business this morning. Baer paid $880 million in cash for Merrill’s non U.S. and Japanese operations.
- Groupon will report second quarter results after the closing bell today. Analysts polled by Bloomberg forecast the company will report earnings of $0.03 a share on sales of $575 million. The world’s biggest companies reveal what’s happening in the global economy >
- Republican Presidential Nominee Mitt Romney chose Paul Ryan as his running mate over the weekend. Ryan gained recognition in the party for his budget plan that would cut Obama’s healthcare overhaul and redraw income taxes into two brackets. Here’s everything you need to know about Paul Ryan >
- The 30th Summer Olympics concluded yesterday with a performance by the Spice Girls and The Who in London. The United States led the medal count, finishing with 104. China and Russia followed with 87 and 82 medals, respectively. These are the 21 most iconic moments of the 2012 Olympics >