The European Central Bank held its key rates unchanged, keeping the refinancing rate steady at an all-time low of 0.5%, the deposit rate at 0% and the marginal lending rate at 1%.
- Its president, Mario Draghi, has said that rates will remain at current or lower levels for an "extended period". This represents the first time that the ECB has given an indication of its future guidance on the rate of interest in the eurozone. (BBC)
World food prices, tracked by the Food and Agriculture Organization¡¦s index of 55 food items, fell 0.9% to 211.3 in Jun from 213.2 pts the previous month. (Bloomberg)
China's economy is expected to grow 7.6% in 2H2013, but risks of bad local government loans, slowing growth of central government revenue, diminished export competitiveness and industrial capacity are growing, according to the China Securities Journal. China's economy expanded 7.8% last year, the slowest pace in 13 years. (Reuters)
The University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce consumer confidence index slipped to a six-month low in Jun of 81.6 from 82.5 in May, as consumers were worried about the country's economic growth, uncertainties around the government's rice-subsidy program that resulted in losses of THB137bn, and a Thai court's ruling last week that delayed the government's plan to invest THB340bn in water-management projects. (Dow Jones)
North Korea agreed to hold working-level talks with South Korea this weekend on a jointly-run industrial zone it closed in Apr. The North also restored a border hot line and has said it will allow South Korean businessmen to visit the factory park. (Bloomberg)