What to watch in Asia today
Results: Industrial and Commercial Bank of China reports first-half earnings. Expectations have been trending lower for the bank, China’s biggest by assets, owing to its exposure to the struggling property sector.
UK-China ties: UK foreign secretary James Cleverly visits Beijing. Ahead of his trip, Cleverly told the FT he would tell his hosts that Britain welcomed Chinese investment provided it did not create national security concerns, declaring: “The UK is open for business.”
Markets: Futures in Hong Kong and Tokyo pointed higher on Wednesday morning. The S&P 500 had its biggest one-day gain in almost three months on Tuesday as traders wagered that signs of a cooling of the labour market would lessen pressure on the Federal Reserve to further raise interest rates this year. Wall Street’s benchmark index closed 1.5 per cent higher and the Nasdaq Composite added 1.7 per cent.
Biden in ‘constant contact’ with DeSantis as Hurricane Idalia nears Florida coast
US president Joe Biden said on Tuesday he had spoken to Florida governor Ron DeSantis, as southern states brace for Hurricane Idalia to make landfall.
Biden told reporters at the White House that he spoke to DeSantis “last night”, remained in “constant contact” and was “providing everything [DeSantis] could possibly need”.
The Florida governor has temporarily halted campaigning for president to deal with the coming storm.
Meteorologists expect Idalia to make landfall on Florida’s northern Gulf coast on Wednesday morning. They have warned that it could come ashore as a Category 3 storm, with wind gusts exceeding 100 miles per hour.
Goldman Sachs bought UK and US companies using Chinese state funds
Goldman Sachs used a fund set up with Chinese state money to buy a number of US and UK companies, including one with a cyber security business that provides services to the British government, even as tensions rise between Beijing and the west.
The Wall Street bank has struck seven deals using cash from a $2.5bn private equity “partnership fund” it set up in 2017 with the sovereign wealth fund China Investment Corporation, according to multiple people with direct knowledge of the fund and its operations.
Read more on Goldman Sachs’ use of the fund here.
Vladimir Putin absent from Yevgeny Prigozhin’s private funeral
Vladimir Putin did not attend a private funeral held in St Petersburg on Tuesday for the Russian warlord Yevgeny Prigozhin, who died in a plane crash last week.
The Kremlin said just hours earlier that the Russian president would not go to the ceremony commemorating the leader of the Wagner mercenary group, who launched a mutiny in June that represented the biggest challenge in decades to Putin’s rule.
“The president’s presence is not envisaged,” spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in response to a reporter’s question. Peskov added that the Kremlin would not be issuing any information about the funeral.
Read more about Yevgeny Prigozhin’s legacy here.
Miami mayor Francis Suarez quits 2024 Republican race for president
Miami mayor Francis Suarez has suspended his campaign for president, becoming the first major Republican to drop out of the 2024 race.
Suarez, the only Hispanic in the Republican presidential field, launched his long-shot bid for the White House in June. But he failed to qualify for the debate stage last week after not meeting the polling thresholds set out by the Republican National Committee.
Suarez said he looked forward to “keeping in touch” with other Republican presidential candidates and “doing what I can to make sure our party puts forward a strong nominee who can inspire and unify the country, renew Americans’ trust in our institutions and in each other, and win”.
Read the full article here