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AP
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Britain's Conservatives are choosing the country's new prime minister, but the candidates face accusations of ignoring the country’s mounting economic and environmental crises. Britons’ energy bills have soared and the Bank of England is predicting a long, deep recession alongside 13% inflation. Meanwhile, temperatures hit 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) in July for the first time ever and a drought is looming. But there is little sense of crisis among Conservatives as Foreign Secretary Liz Truss and former Treasury chief Rishi Sunak crisscross the country wooing party members who will choose a successor to departing Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Conservative members are largely older and affluent, and their views don’t always reflect those of the country as a whole.

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Stocks are closing mostly lower Friday after new data on the hot U.S. jobs market suggested the Fed won’t soon rein in its aggressive rate hikes. The S&P 500 is down 0.2% and the Nasdaq lost 0.5%, while the Dow Jones industrials notched a small gain. Employers unexpectedly accelerated their hiring last month and added hundreds of thousands more jobs than forecast. While the data suggests the economy may not be in a recession, it also undercuts investor hopes that inflation may be close to peaking. Treasury yields jumped. Warner Bros. Discovery had its third worst day ever after recording weak second quarter results.

AP
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The Bank of England has projected that the United Kingdom’s economy will enter a recession at the end of the year. To tame accelerating inflation driven by the fallout from Russia’s war in Ukraine, the bank hiked interest rates Thursday by the largest amount in more than 27 years. The bank says inflation will accelerate to over 13% in the final three months of the year and remain “very elevated” for much of 2023. The bank’s forecasters say inflation will hit its highest point for more than 42 years amid the doubling of wholesale natural gas prices tied to the war. Central banks worldwide are struggling to control surging inflation without tipping economies into recession.

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Stocks are closing slightly lower on Wall Street Monday as investors began another busy week of earnings and economic reports. The S&P 500 fell 0.3%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq also closed lower. U.S. crude oil prices dropped, weighing heavily on energy companies. Retailers and consumer product makers made solid gains. Boeing jumped after it cleared a key hurdle with federal regulators to resume deliveries of its large 787 airliner. August’s subdued opening follows a solid rally for stocks in July that marked the best month for the the benchmark S&P 500 since November 2020.

AP
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Inflation in the European countries using the euro currency shot up to another record in July, pushed by higher energy prices driven partly by the war in Ukraine. But the economy still managed better-than-expected, if meager, growth in the second quarter. The European Union statistics agency said Friday that annual inflation in the eurozone’s 19 countries rose to 8.9% in July, up from 8.6% in June. Inflation has been running at its highest level since record-keeping for the euro began in 1997. The economy grew from April through June, expanding by 0.7% compared with the previous quarter. Economists expect that to be the last glimmer of good news and the region to tip into recession later this year.

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Asian shares are mostly higher following a broad rally on Wall Street, but Hong Kong's benchmark sank more than 2%. Investors have grown more convinced that the Federal Reserve may temper its aggressive interest rate hikes aimed at taming inflation after data showed the U.S. economy contracted in the last quarter. But investors are cautiously eyeing regional tensions over China’s stance on Taiwan after President Joe Biden and China’s Xi Jinping spoke for more than two hours on Thursday. Japan's factory output in June jumped 8.9% from the previous month. The Commerce Department reported the U.S. economy contracted at a 0.9% annual pace in April-June following a 1.6% year-on-year drop in the first quarter.

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Wall Street gave back some of its strong gains from the week on Friday following discouraging readings on the global economy and another slew of profit reports from big U.S. companies. The S&P 500 lost nearly 1%, ending a three-day rally that had carried it back to its highest level since early June. The Nasdaq led the market lower with a drop of almost 2% following weaker-than-expected profit reports from tech-oriented companies. The Dow Jones Industrial Average held up better, in large part because constituent American Express gave an encouraging earnings report. Treasury yields slumped.

AP
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The European Central Bank has raised interest rates for the first time in 11 years by a larger-than-expected amount. It's joining steps already taken by the U.S. Federal Reserve and other major central banks to target stubbornly high inflation. The ECB’s surprise hike Thursday of half a percentage point for the 19 countries using the euro currency is expected to be followed by another increase in September. Bank President Christine Lagarde says the forecasts don’t point to a recession this year or next but acknowledged the uncertainty ahead. The move raises new questions about whether the rush to make credit more expensive will plunge major economies into recession at the cost of easing prices for people.

AP
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Asian shares have mostly fallen on persistent concerns about inflation and the Chinese economy, despite an overnight rally on Wall Street. Eyes are on the Bank of Japan, set to announce a decision after a two-day policy meeting, although analysts expect no major changes. The central bank has not indicated it will follow suit with others around the world, including the U.S. Federal Reserve, in raising interest rates to curb inflation. Japan has suffered years of stagnation, when deflation was a major problem. Regional benchmarks fell in morning trading except in Seoul.