- US Equities traded flat on Wednesday, bringing an end to the five-day rally as investors focused on weak retail sales, while strong earnings from Intel failed to inspire trading. This morning, most Asian shares trade slightly lower as Chinese economic growth slowed in the second quarter.
- China’s economy slowed in the second quarter as the government steered monetary and fiscal policy back to normal after a record credit surge last year to counter the global crisis. Annual GDP moderated from 11.9% to 10.3%.
- The Minutes of the latest FOMC meeting showed the Federal Reserve downgraded its expectations for the economy and said further central-bank action might be necessary if the economic outlook were to worsen appreciably.
- The Bank of Japan kept rates unchanged at 0.10% and held off new policy initiatives as expected. The Bank raised its economic forecast for the current fiscal year, but highlighted that Europe’s debt woes could pose a risk to the outlook.
- Spanish Prime Minister Zapatero stressed yesterday its commitment to cutting the country’s yawning budget deficit and revamping its sluggish economy as new Spanish central bank data showed that local banks borrowed a record amount from the ECB in June.
- The IMF urged Japan to act soon to reduce its huge public debt through measures that include a gradual increase in its consumption tax.
- The EU won’t reach agreement on new rules for the region’s financial-services industry before the beginning of August, pushing a final deal on the legislation until September at the earliest, EU negotiators said.
- The Irish government will likely have to make additional spending cuts or tax increases if it is to meet its goal of cutting its budget deficit to 3% of GDP by 2014, the IMF said yesterday.
- Today, the US eco calendar contains the NY and Philly Fed surveys, industrial production, the weekly claims and PPI data. JP Morgan Chase and Google will announce Q2 earnings.