“U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May is stepping up the government’s preparations in case Brexit negotiations break down and the country crashes out of the European Union without a deal.
“May is planning a top-level meeting of her cabinet ministers early in September specifically to discuss how to ready the U.K. for a no-deal Brexit, according to people familiar with the matter.
“Separately, a working group of senior government officials is being convened to devise ways to keep the Irish border free of customs checks and police even if there’s no withdrawal agreement, one of the people said.
““Our negotiations on our future relationship have reached an impasse,” May told Tory party members in a letter on Wednesday…”
“The pound has fallen to its lowest level in almost a year amid continuing concerns that the UK will leave the European Union without a deal. Sterling slid 0.4% to $1.2894 at around midday – its lowest level since 31 August 2017. The currency also hit a new low for the year against the euro, trading at €1.1135.”
“Brexit has slowed London’s population growth to the lowest rate for more than a decade and caused a risk of “significant damage” to the capital’s economy, a report warned today… The warning came as two major businesses appealed for more action to reduce the harm to trade from a “bad” Brexit. Pharmaceuticals giant AstraZeneca said patients could miss out on vital medicines unless it made preparations for a no-deal exit from the EU.”
“Italy on Wednesday cut its forecasts for both economic growth and its public finances this year and next year, potentially lining it up for a clash with Brussels.”
“Turkey’s central bank must raise interest rates by more than 500 basis points if it’s serious about stemming a deepening economic crisis, according to Investec Asset Management. “They need to properly tighten the screws” and raise the policy rate to at least 23 percent…””
Trump throwing his weight around:
“United Nations agency helping Palestinian refugees is facing a severe financial shortfall. Jordan warns of “catastrophic” impact on the lives of millions of refugees in the region. UNRWA has faced a cash crisis since the United States, long its biggest donor, slashed funding to the agency, providing just $60 million of a promised $365 million this year. US President Donald Trump withheld the aid after questioning its value and saying Washington would only provide more assistance if the Palestinians agreed to renew peace talks with Israel.”
“It is still nearly three months until U.S. sanctions on Iran’s oil exports snap back into force, but they are already having a big impact on the Persian Gulf country’s trade. The nation’s outflow has fallen, and Iran is having to rely more on its own fleet of tankers to carry oil to its customers, according to ship-tracking data compiled by Bloomberg.”
“A shipment of soybeans worth more than $20m (£15.5m) has been bobbing aimlessly in the Pacific Ocean for a month, a casualty of the escalating trade war between China and the US. Lingering uncertainty over the cargo’s fate offered a timely reminder of the fallout from a dispute that intensified on Wednesday, as the US president, Donald Trump, unveiled a second round of tariffs on $16bn of Chinese goods, prompting Beijing to respond in kind.”
“Sydney property investors have been dealt another blow on top of their current struggles to get financing from banks — the average rate of return on investment properties has shrank to the lowest level since the GFC.”
“Disappointing manufacturing production figures for June yesterday raised a red flag that the [South African] economy might fall into recession, with analysts saying mining data next week will give guidance to the rocky road ahead.”
“Applications for refinances [in the US] fell to the lowest level since December 2000 as mortgage rates remained more or less flat.”
“The Trump administration moved on Wednesday to drastically shrink a government agency tasked with identifying looming financial risks, notifying around 40 staff members they would be laid off, according to a person familiar with the changes.
“The employees at the Office of Financial Research (OFR) were formally told on Wednesday they will lose their jobs as part of a broader reorganization of the agency that was created in the wake of the 2007-2009 global financial crisis, the source said.”
“Data for global air freight markets showed that demand rose 2.7 percent year on year in June, continuing a slowdown for air cargo, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said Wednesday. The growth slowdown began earlier in 2018… “While air cargo is somewhat insulated from the current round of rising tariff barriers, an escalation of trade tension resulting in a ‘reshoring’ of production and consolidation of global supply chains would change the outlook significantly for the worse.””