Market Action

  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended the week at a fresh record, buoyed by a jobs report that showed employers continued hiring at a healthy rate in July. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Friday that U.S. employers added a better-than-expected 209,000 jobs in July. The unemployment rate fell to 4.3%, tying the lowest level of unemployment in 16 years.
  • Australia’s central bank on Tuesday marked a full year without changing interest rates from the record low of 1.5 percent, and in its statement on monetary policy on Friday forecast that the economy will grow at around 3 percent over the next couple of years. This could mean stabilization of economies in Asia as Australia has successfully avoided a recession for several years and fears about China’s troubled banking & credit sector have subsided.
  • After the successful Greek bond issue last week there are signs that Greece’s economy is stabilizing and it could attract some capital. Business conditions in the Greek manufacturing sector improved in July, with the Purchasing Managers’ Index rising to 50.5 points, surpassing the 50-point level signaling its return to growth course for the second time after August 2016, IHS Markit said on Tuesday.
  • In the aftermath of Brexit banks will need to find $30 billion to $50 billion of additional capital to support new European units, according to a report published Tuesday by consultants Oliver Wyman. Bank operating costs could rise by $1 billion as functions currently handled in London are duplicated on the continent and as banks scramble to establish new hubs to ensure access to the European Union’s markets.
  • China’s Foreign Ministry on Thursday said India has been building up troops and repairing roads along its side of the border amid an increasingly tense stand-off in a remote frontier region beside the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan. China’s defense ministry last week also warned India not to harbor any illusions about the Chinese military’s ability to defend its territory. Could an escalation in the dispute disrupt growth prospects for the two nations and derail Asia’s trajectory?
  • Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe named new foreign, defense and other ministers in an effort to shore up plummeting public approval ratings and head off potential unrest within his party by giving cabinet posts to experienced lawmakers from outside his close circle. A series of political scandals in recent months have threatened the prime minister’s leadership; will these measures successfully head off potential unrest within his party and facilitate his stated priority of revitalizing Japan’s economy?
  • Brazilian President Michel Temer secured enough votes in Congress on Wednesday to keep from going to trial for corruption charges, averting a third change of power in less than two years. Will this suffice for political stability which is necessary for Brazil’s return to sustained growth?
  • An Israeli court said on Thursday that two police investigations in which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been questioned could result in corruption charges. A former chief of staff to Netanyahu agreed to provide testimony on behalf of the state as part of a plea bargain in his own, separate corruption case, court papers showed on Friday. If Netanyahu becomes indicted and removed would the prospects of a deal with the Palestinians improve and could that be the beginning of better days in this troubled part of the world?


View Full Market Update