S&P: Still stuck between 2820 and 2940, veering between the two depending on swings and rumours in trade talks. Chart/Levels from Analyst, Nicole Elliott – Investors Chronicle.

 

Japan July jobless jumps back to the 1990s Drops to 2.2 per cent, a 27-year low

Many things in Japan have been lower than those in other G7 countries for a very long time: interest rates, inflation, bond yields, crime and unemployment too. However, the job-to-applicant ratio dropped too, to 1.59 from 1.61 in June, suggesting that over the medium-term unemployment may stop falling. Despite these encouraging numbers, retail sales also fell, by 2.3 per cent across the board in the month to July and by 4.8 per cent at large retailers, one of the biggest drops since 2009. Tokyo inflation, excluding fresh food (which is their preferred measure) dropped to an annualised 0.7 per cent even as an increase in sales tax looms in October.

After this week’s IMF visit to Argentina, where finance minister Hernan Lacunza suggested that $100 billion of his country’s sovereign debt be ‘reprofiled’, yesterday ratings agency Standard and Poors downgraded the nation’s debt rating to SD – Selective Default. Of the amount outstanding $57 billion was extended less than a year ago by the IMF itself. Were they to skip paying the money back, this would be Argentina’s 9th default and the third since 2000.

Financial Markets and Political Commentary
 

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