The COVID-19 Delta variant has become a drag on Asia's economic recovery as several countries in the region reintroduced restrictions and lockdowns. Countries in Southeast Asia have been particularly hard hit by the setbacks.
In June and July the European Central Bank bought €134.7 billion worth of bonds issued by Italy, Germany, France and Spain during a period when those countries only issued €89 billion of bonds, as part of its effort to keep a lid on bond yields. Some ECB policymakers have questioned the wisdom of bond buying on such a large scale.
Two key benchmarks are pointing to the likelihood of significant market volatility in August as concerns over the Delta variant weigh on the economic recovery. The low points of the Cboe Volatility Index are drifting higher and S&P 500 skew, which weighs the price of bullish options against bearish ones, is at its highest level since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.
The July bond rally sent the proportion of eurozone investment-grade corporate debt yielding less than zero to its highest level on record. Currently 50.7% of all high-quality eurozone corporate debt trades at yields below zero, according to data from Tradeweb.
UK inflation is on track to reach 3.9% toward the beginning of next year, almost twice the Bank of England's target rate, according to the National Institute of Economic and Social Research. However, if the BoE starts raising rates, inflation would drop back to 2% the next year, the think tank said.
The international technology companies have so much data and market power that financial regulators and central banks need to establish rules to govern the financial services they offer, according to a paper by Agustin Carstens, head of the Bank for International Settlements. Authorities in the EU, US and China should consider establishing "specific entity-based rules" for the big tech firms, the paper said.
Germany's financial regulator BaFin has appointed former CEO of the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority Mark Branson as its new president. "Being a supervisor is more than just a job; it's a vocation. I am fully aware that people have very high expectations of BaFin – and rightly so," Branson said.
The EU is considering rules to prohibit cash transactions higher than €10,000 for some expenditures such as home improvements, funerals and car purchases. The main objective of the proposal is to fight money laundering.
News Corp., owner of the Wall Street Journal, plans to buy IHS Markit's Oil Price Information Services, PetroChem Wire and Coal, Metals and Mining data businesses for $1.15 billion. The sale is aimed at ensuring that the planned $39 billion merger between IHS Markit and S&P Global receives regulatory approval.
- Page 1