Internationally: July 31 - August 4, 2017
The Bank of England has been contemplating shifting to less accommodative monetary policy stances. Last week, the BOE voted 6-2 to leave interest rates unchanged. Markets have been on high alert since the June BOE meeting’s 5–3 vote raised the specter of an interest rate hike sooner than the market had anticipated.
However, the Czech central bank took action. Thursday, it raised its main policy rate from 0.05% to 0.25%, its first hike since 2008. Rising wages and shrinking economic slack were factors behind the rate boost.
Following a disputed election for a new legislative body last weekend, in which voting tallies were reportedly manipulated, and the arrest of two high-profile opposition leaders, Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro faces increased pressure both from within Venezuela and without. The United States placed sanctions against Maduro, freezing any assets he holds in the US, and barred Americans from doing business with him. In addition, anyone doing business with the newly elected legislative “superbody” will also be subject to US sanctions.
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