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World Today: Key News Issues to Follow

As the world faces various economic and geopolitical challenges, there are several critical news issues to keep a close eye on today. Here are some of the top stories:

1. Asian Stock Markets Likely to Weaken

Asian stock markets are expected to experience a dip today following the decline in the US stock market last Friday. The drop was triggered by US labor data, which indicated volatility and uncertainty among investors regarding the direction of interest rates from the US Federal Reserve (Fed). Despite the number of non-farm payrolls in July being lower than expected, workers’ average hourly wages rose higher than analysts’ predictions, leading to mixed sentiments in the market.

2. Bank of Japan’s Monetary Policy Direction

Markets are eagerly awaiting the release of the Summary of Opinions of the Bank of Japan’s Board of Directors this morning. Investors are keen to assess the direction of Japan’s monetary policy following the recent announcement to hold interest rates at -0.1% while making the yield curve control policy (YCC) more flexible. This move aims to address concerns about the increasing side effects of the long-term monetary easing policy.

3. US and Chinese Inflation Data Releases

Investors will closely monitor the release of inflation data from both the United States and China this week. On Wednesday, China will unveil its July Consumer Price Index (CPI) and July Producer Price Index (PPI). The United States will follow suit on Thursday with the release of its February CPI for July, and on Friday, the July PPI will be published. These indicators can significantly impact market sentiment and monetary policy decisions.

4. Thaksin Shinawatra’s Presence at Cambodian Prime Minister’s Birthday Party

Various foreign media outlets have reported on former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra’s attendance at the birthday party of Cambodia’s Prime Minister, Somdech Hun Sen. This development comes in conjunction with Thaksin’s recent announcement to postpone his return to Thailand for medical reasons. While Thaksin’s message did not mention his travel to Cambodia, a video on Hun Sen’s TikTok account shows Thaksin at the birthday celebration.

5. US FDA Approves First Pill for Severe Postpartum Depression

In a groundbreaking move, US federal health officials have approved the first pill specifically designed to treat severe postpartum depression (PPD). The drug, Zurzuvae, will be prescribed to adults with severe depression associated with childbirth or pregnancy. This approval marks a significant milestone in addressing mental health concerns for mothers in the United States.

6. India’s Import Permit System for Laptops and PCs

India’s trade regulator announced a three-month grace period before the implementation of the new system for import permits on laptops, tablets, and personal computers (PCs). The measure was initially announced to take immediate effect, but the delay is now in response to calls for more time to adapt to the new regulations. The move aims to support domestic production while potentially impacting tech firms like Apple, Dell, and Samsung.

7. J.P. Morgan’s Revised Forecast for the US Economy

J.P. Morgan economists have revised their forecast for the US economy, stating that it is no longer at risk of recession. According to Chief Economist Michael Ferroli, the US economy is expected to continue expanding this year and experience slow growth next year. The prediction aligns with the current outlook of many other experts, and factors such as artificial intelligence (AI) adoption and increased labor market participation are believed to contribute to the favorable outlook.

8. Biden’s Presidential Order Banning US Tech Transfers to China

US President Joe Biden is reportedly set to use his special powers to issue a presidential order prohibiting US private sector transfers of highly sensitive technology to China. The order is aimed at preventing the use of US technology in the development of the Chinese military, which could be perceived as a threat to US security. Sectors like semiconductor, quantum computing, industrial, and artificial intelligence (AI) are expected to be targeted, with private US investment requiring approval from the US government.

These news issues carry significant implications for the global economy, financial markets, and international relations. Investors, businesses, and policymakers alike are closely monitoring these developments to make informed decisions and navigate the complexities of the current global landscape.

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