Hello and welcome to our live coverage of business, economy and financial markets.
There had been rumors for a few days about the health problems of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe after repeated hospital visits, but this morning rumors seem to have spilled over into the news: many media say he will resign effectively.The news caused an immediate collapse in the Japanese stock market, with the blue-chip Nikkei 225 The index loses as much as 2%, while the safe haven Japanese yen, which had fallen, jumped about 0.5% to a session high of 106.10 per dollar before falling back to about 106.22.
A person familiar with the case said Abe, the country’s longest-serving prime minister, has decided to step down.
Public broadcaster NHK said earlier that Abe, who has struggled with ulcerative colitis for years, wanted to avoid causing trouble for the government due to his worsening condition.
Also coming today we have Eurozone economic sentiment and the 10am BST consumer confidence figures, which could be lower than expected after GfK measured German consumer confidence with a negative reading of 1.8, compared to a positive consensus expectation of 1.2. More information to follow.
And at 2:05 p.m., the attention of observers from the BST Bank of England will be fixed on a discours d’Andrew Bailey, the governor.
He has a tough act to follow after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell signals a permanent change in the US central bank’s inflation-targeting regime, although the Bank of England has its own problems with confront. Bailey could talk about the Bank’s work on diminishing returns from quantitative easing.
- 9h BST: Japan Shinzo Abe press conference (subject to change)
- 10h BST: Eurozone economic sentiment, August (previous: 82.3; consensus: 88.9)
- 13h30 BST: Canadian GDP, second quarter (previous: -8.2% annualized; consensus: -39.6% annualized)
- 14 h 05 BST: Speech by Bank of England Andrew Bailey Jackson Hole