International News (Issue 363) – 7 August 2015

Looking overseas this week, news that US service sector activity had jumped to its highest level in 10 years in July must surely be the most interesting.

The falling oil price, improved employment, a stronger dollar and still record low interest rates are all contributing to improved behaviour.

Like in Australia, the service sector contributes over 80% of all US economic activity, so this report is not to be sniffed at. It certainly points to the likelihood of US interest rate rises in September, and then again in the following 6 months, since the level of activity is highly likely to bring with it rising inflation.

At a corporate level, much of the focus was on the disappointing earnings reports from each of CBS, Disney and Fox – figures that seemed to show the struggle facing pay-television operators in the wake of mass-subscription to on-demand TV content.

In the new economy, Apple and TESLA were both weak, Apple suffering from a sharp and substantial drop in Chinese demand for smart-phones and TESLA from an inability to produce and ship to targeted levels of vehicles.

In Europe, the Greek stock-market re-opened this week, falling a whopping, but not unsurprising 18% from the levels seen when it was last open in late June.

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