Bloomberg reports that China's State Administration of Foreign Exchange urged markets to not consider changes in US treasuries political statements. It further indicated that gold is not likely to become a major part of its reserves holdings because of its volatility and lack of interest payments. Some think this is just Beijing talking its book so it can buy further gold at depressed prices. Last year Beijing doubled its gold holdings.
2. FREE EXCHANGE HOSTS A NEAT INTERACTIVE MAP OF THE EU
3. NEW POLISH PRESIDENT AN EUROPEANIST
Greg Scoblete at Real Clear World reports that the new Polish President is a committed Europeanist as opposed to his predecessor, who was a committed Atlanticist.
4. US RHETORIC IN GEORGIA DESIGNED TO CALM FEARS IN T'BLISI
Mary Beth Sheridan at the Washington Post reports that in her visit to Georgia, Secretary Clinton indicated the US's opposition to Russia's "invasion and occupation" of Georgia. Prime Minister Putin took issue with the characterization of the Secretary of State, calling the Russian troop presence an effort to liberate the Abkhazians and South Ossetians.
5. DRILLING IN GREENLAND'S ARCTIC WATERS BEGAN LAST WEEK
Kate MacKenzie at FT Energy Source reports that deep water drilling in Greenland's Arctic waters began last week. And so the race for Arctic natural resources begins.
6. AUSTRALIA KEEPS BENCHMARK RATE AT 4.5%
Jacob Greber at Bloomberg reports that Central bank Governor Glenn Stevens yesterday left the benchmark cash rate at 4.5% for a second month. Australia's central bank had raised interest rates six times since October when it stood at a low of 3%. Inflation is expected to increase to more than 3% in the coming months.
7. INDIA DEPLOYS TROOPS IN KASHMIR IN EFFORT TO SUPPRESS UNREST
Lydia Polgreen at the New York Times reports that the Indian Army has deployed troops in Kashmir in an effort to calm the region after large street protests resulted in paramilitary units firing into the crowds.
8. RUMORS THAT MUBARAK'S HEALTH IS IN SERIOUS DECLINE
Michael Collins Dunn at the MEI Editor's Blog reports that Ha'aretz has picked up a rumor from a London-based daily that Mubarak's trip to France was for medical reasons. The story is that Mubarak's health is in serious decline and that his son is in line for succession.
9. OBAMA EXPECTS NETANYAHU TO BEGIN TALKS WITH PALESTINIANS BEFORE MORATORIUM ON NEW SETTLEMENT BUILDING EXPIRES IN SEPTEMBER
Sheryl Gay Stolberg and Mark Landler at the New York Times report.
10. BANK CARD DELINQUENCIES FALL BELOW 4%; SERVICE SECTOR NOT ADDING JOBS QUICKLY ENOUGH
In a good sign for the economy, Darrell A. Hughes at Real Time Economics reports that bank credit-card delinquencies dropped below 4% for the first time in eight years.
[ABA Chief Economist James] Chessen said the anticipated slow growth is unlikely to cause delinquencies to rise significantly, but there could be some impact. 'Until we get a sustained level of new jobs in this economy, we’re not going to see delinquencies fall to very low levels,' he said.In the meantime, Phil Izzo at Real Time Economics reports that the Institute for Supply Management subindex for employment fell below 50, indicating a fall in employment.
11. THE EIA REPORTS THAT CRUDE STORAGE IS DOWN 2 MILLION BARRELS, STILL 12.9 MILLION MORE IN STORAGE THAN LAST YEAR
The EIA reports that crude stocks fell to 363.1 million barrels, down 2 million from last week, up 12.9 million from last year. Gasoline stocks rose by half a million while diesel stocks rose 2.5 million. Average US gasoline prices rose by 1.4 cents to 275.7 cents the week ended June 28. In the week ended June 25, refinery capacity utilization stood at 88.4%, down 1% from the week previous.