International Value Chains Are Sweden’s Achilles Heel

Gold Rebounds As Dollar Retreats

Gold rebounded on Friday as the dollar retreated in the aftermath of the dovish speech from Jerome Powell, the Chairman of the Federal Reserve.

Spot gold climbed 1.2 percent to $1,952.42 per ounce after losing 1.3 percent on Thursday as Fed Chair Powell unveiled a historic policy shift, pledging to focus on low unemployment and tolerate higher inflation. U.S. gold futures were up 1.4 percent at $1,960.35 per ounce.

The Fed’s dovish message on the future path of interest rates means that U.S. interest rates will stay ultra-low for as long as needed to support the world’s largest economy.

The precious metal benefits from lower rates as they decrease the opportunity cost of holding the non-yielding bullion.

Apart from the dollar, rising coronavirus cases, political uncertainty around the resignation of the Japanese prime minister, delay in U.S. stimulus package and rising U.S.-China tensions are also supporting gold to some extent.

Melania Trump Allegedly Staged "Operation Block Ivanka" at the Inauguration

Uh, so you know how Melania Trump’s former best friend Stephanie Winston Wolkoff reportedly taped her slamming Ivanka Trump and is spilling the tea in a new book? Yeah, well the details are pretty wild.

In an exclusive excerpt published in New York magazine’s Intelligencer (via People), Winston Wolkoff goes into Melania’s rivalry with her step-daughter, and says that she tried to block her from being in the best Inauguration photos with a plan literally called “Operation Block Ivanka.”

Apparently, Ivanka texted Winston Wolkoff a photo of President Obama surrounded by family at his swearing in, and wrote “It is nice to have family with him for this special moment.” This kicked off “Operation Block Ivanka,” which involved rearranging everyone’s positions during the ceremony so Melania didn’t have to stand near her step-daughter.

Wow. Gonna go ahead and drop the link to pre-order this book in case anyone’s…interested 😳 .

Argentina's judicial system: Controversial reforms spark protests

The debate over judicial reform has polarised society once again.

Argentina’s Senate is debating a controversial judicial reform.

The government says it is necessary to prevent abuses, but opponents say it is a way to absolve the former president, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, from cases against her.

Al Jazeera’s Teresa Bo reports.

Irish man pleads guilty over Vietnamese truck deaths in UK

LONDON (Reuters) – Irishman Ronan Hughes pleaded guilty on Friday to the manslaughter of 39 Vietnamese men, women and boys found in the back of a refrigerated truck near London last year.

Hughes appeared at the Old Bailey court following the discovery of the bodies in October. Eamonn Harrison from the British province of Northern Ireland, pleaded not guilty to the same charge.

Thirty-one of the victims were men or boys, and eight were women. The oldest was 44 and three were aged under 18, including two 15-year-old boys.

U.S. Pending Home Sales Spike More Than Expected In July

Pending home sales in the U.S. jumped by much more than expected in the month of July, the National Association of Realtors revealed in a report on Thursday.

NAR said its pending home sales index spiked by 5.9 percent to 122.1 in July after soaring by 15.8 percent to 115.3 in June. Economists had expected pending home sales to surge up by 3.0 percent.

Pending home sales increased for the third straight month after plummeting in March and April and are now up by 15.5 percent compared to the same month a year ago.

A pending home sale is one in which a contract was signed but not yet closed. Normally, it takes four to six weeks to close a contracted sale.

“We are witnessing a true V-shaped sales recovery as homebuyers continue their strong return to the housing market,” said NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun.

He added, “Home sellers are seeing their homes go under contract in record time, with nine new contracts for every 10 new listings.”

The bigger than expected jump in pending home sales reflected growth in all four regions, with pending sales in the Northeast skyrocketing by 25.2 percent.

Pending home sales also surged by 6.8 percent and 3.3 percent in the West and Midwest, respectively, while pending sales in the South edged up by 0.9 percent.

Yun expects existing home sales to ramp up to 5.8 million in the second half, bringing the full-year level of existing home sales to 5.4 million, reflecting a 1.1 percent increase compared to last year.

CANADA STOCKS-TSX opens higher on upbeat economic growth data

Aug 28 (Reuters) – Canada’s main stock index opened higher on Friday after data showed the domestic economy expanded at a record pace in June, bolstering optimism around a post-coronavirus recovery.

* At 14:32 a.m. ET (13:32 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was up 26.65 points, or 0.16%, at 16,758.14.

International Value Chains Are Sweden’s Achilles Heel

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Sweden faces a milder recession this year than many economies in the euro area, yet its high exposure to international value chains is its Achilles heel. Exports crashed almost 20% in the second quarter as shipments of investment goods fell and lower net exports explain more than a third of the decline in quarterly gross domestic product, according toBloomberg Economics. The flip side of this heavy reliance on exports is that a global recovery will also have a substantial positive impact.