What to watch for today
India’s first taste of Modinomics. Prime minister Narendra Modi’s budget will set the tone for his reform agenda. Finance minister Arun Jaitley will outline a plan to boost economic growth and narrow the fiscal deficit, which has grown to a dangerous 4.6% of GDP.
Indonesia’s presidential stand-off. The country’s incumbent leader has summoned the two candidates vying to replace him, reformer Joko Widodo and ex-general Prabowo Subianto, to hold talks aimed at preventing unrest. Both men have claimed victory in yesterday’s election, but final results aren’t due until July 22.
Southeast Asia central bank watch. Traders are keeping a close eye on Malaysia’s Bank Negara, which is expected to hike interest rates to 3.25% as inflation picks up. Indonesia’s central bank is also meeting.
The Bank of England edges towards a rate hike. The central bank is unlikely to raise its record-low benchmark rate (0.5%) at today’s policy meeting. But incoming deputy governor Nemat Shafik suggested that it might soon do so as spare capacity in the economy is declining—one of governor Mark Carney’s triggers for raising rates.
Will Family Dollar’s results matter? The US discount store chain reports its quarterly earnings, which are forecast to decline by about 18%. But analysts will be more interested in whether the company is planning to sell itself, under pressure from activist investor Carl Icahn.
While you were sleeping
China’s trade data disappointed. Exports rose 7.2% in the year to June, ahead of May’s 7% rise but far below expectations of double-digit expansion. A 5.5% rise in imports narrowed the trade surplus to $31.6 billion from $35.9 billion.
Japanese machine orders plummeted. Machinery orders fell 19.5% in May, the largest monthly fall in nearly three decades. Economists had expected a monthly climb of 0.7%. The dire figures will cast doubt over the likelihood of a recovery following Japan’s April tax rise.
China-based hackers snooped on US government payrolls. The cyberattackers accessed US government worker data (paywall) in March and appeared to target those who applied for top-secret security clearance, according to the New York Times.
The Israel-Hamas conflict intensified. Israeli planes bombarded Gaza and Palestinian militants fired rockets at the heart of Israel for the second day straight. Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu hinted he might send ground troops into Gaza, where the air strikes have so far killed over 40 people. Rockets from Gaza now threaten Israel’s Dimona nuclear plant.
IBM made a new bet on chips. Though the company is selling its chip-making arm, it wants to pour $3 billion into chip materials research over the next five years, with a focus on semiconductors other than silicon.
At least some Brazilians were happy their team lost. The country’s stock markets jumped at the prospect that Brazil’s 7-1 defeat in the World Cup might scupper president Dilma Rousseff’s re-election chances this October. Investors blame her policies for an economic slowdown, high inflation, and growing unrest.
Quartz obsession interlude
Jason Karaian on the company that thinks it can create an incorruptible banking benchmark. “So why is Credit Benchmark so sure that the data it gets won’t be fiddled? Crucially, because it comes directly from the systems that the banks already use to calculate how much capital they hold against their various exposures—which is also shared with regulators.” Read more here.
Matters of debate
Israel has a new weapon against Hamas. International indifference is lethally effective.
Capitalism’s glory days are over in rich countries. In poor countries, it has another 46 years to go.
Manipulative narcissists thrive at the office. Humble employees tend to stay at the bottom of the org chart.
Obama’s $3.7 billion plan won’t stem the migrant tide. Increased aid to Central America would be much more effective.
One question can improve women’s health. “Would you like to become pregnant in the next year?“
Martha Stewart loves drones. “Controversial but fabulous, drones do a good job.”
An Uber driver in DC kidnapped his passengers. He fled from a taxi official in a terrifying high-speed chase.
The man who wrote the book on running with the bulls got gored. He survived.
Signs of a tech bubble. A social media company’s stock rose 24,000% in 16 days, and it’s not clear if it actually exists.
An American is worth 110 Indians. To advertisers, that is.
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