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Good morning. Here’s what you need to know.
- Markets in Asia sold off in overnight trade, with Hong Kong’s Hang Seng off 1.2 per cent. European markets are lower and U.S. futures point to a negative open.
- The Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee voted 9-0 to keep its benchmark interest rate and asset purchasing program unchanged. The central bank will maintain its asset program target at £375 billion pounds.
- Jobless claims in the U.K. fell unexpectedly in July as the London Olympics fuelled employment. Unemployment numbers dropped by 5,900 during the month, compared to expectations for a 6,000 increase. Here’s Jim O’Neill’s massive presentation on the global economy >
- The Malaysian economy expanded by 5.4 per cent in the second quarter, surpassing expectations for a narrower 4.6 per cent increase. Stronger growth was attributed to higher domestic demand and private and public spending.
- Standard Chartered shares rallied after it settled charges with the New York State Department of Financial Services over allegations it cleared transactions for Iranian customers, against U.S. law. The bank will pay a fine of $340 million to the New York regulator and it will be forced to monitoring by the agency for at least two years. Here are the craziest details from the DFS’s report >
- The New York Times Company named outgoing BBC director general Mark Thompson its new CEO. The Times has operated without a chief since Janet Robinson departed eight months ago. Thompson will begin in November of this year.
- Earnings on tap today include Cisco and Target. Analysts polled by Bloomberg expect the technology firm to post earnings per share of $0.46. Target is forecast to report earnings per share of $1.00. The biggest companies reveal what’s happening in the economy >
- Major retailers are expected to announce plans today to develop a mobile payment network in an effort to take on Google’s Wallet, the Wall Street Journal’s Robin Sidel reports. The retailers include Walmart, Target, and 7-Eleven.
- Consumer prices stayed flat in July, but inched up 0.1 per cent on a core basis. Meanwhile, the Empire Fed manufacturing survey fell 13 points, turning negative for the first time in 10 months. Industrial production increased ahead of expectations, up 0.6 per cent in July.
- A fuel tanker strapped with a bomb exploded near a Damascus hotel wounding three people, Syrian state media reported today. The hotel was being used as the headquarters of United Nations observers in the country.