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Week Ahead – Bring on Earnings Season

Week Ahead – Bring on Earnings Season



No Shortage of Event Risk

Next week sees earnings season get underway in the US, with the major banks all reporting on the second quarter and offering insight – if they have any – into the rest of the year. Understandably, US corporates were a little shy on the guidance last quarter but investors may not be so willing to accept a repeat performance this time around, not while turning a blind eye to second quarter performance.

The outlook remains murky but there are signs of promise, it’s possible that the bar is so low now that investors may leap on anything remotely positive and give these markets another kick higher, not that the Nasdaq is exactly in need of such a lift.

Geopolitical risk remains heightened, with China and Hong Kong remaining at the centre of the increasing hostilities. There is no shortage of speculation around the direction of travel on this front but it remains an ever-present risk, one that could escalate in a heartbeat. The fact that Trump is fighting an election in a few months probably doesn’t help the situation. Especially if the President wants to divert attention away from the rising number of Covid cases in a growing number of states.

Key Economic Events

Monday 13th July

UK Time Country Relevance Indicator Name Period
13:00 India Medium CPI Inflation YY Jun


Tuesday 14th July

01:00 Singapore Medium GDP Flash QQ Q2
01:00 Singapore High GDP Advance YY Q2
07:00 United Kingdom High GDP Est 3M/3M May
07:00 United Kingdom High GDP Estimate MM May
07:00 United Kingdom High GDP Estimate YY May
07:30 India High WPI Inflation YY Jun
08:30 Sweden High CPI MM Jun
08:30 Sweden High CPI YY Jun
10:00 Germany High ZEW Economic Sentiment Jul
10:00 Euro Zone Not Rated ZEW Survey Expectations Jul
13:30 United States High CPI MM, SA Jun
13:30 United States Medium CPI YY, NSA Jun
21:30 United States Not Rated API weekly crude stocks 6 Jul, w/e
China (Mainland) High Exports YY Jun
China (Mainland) High Imports YY Jun
China (Mainland) High Trade Balance USD Jun

Wednesday 15th July


00:00 South Korea Low Unemployment Rate Jun
07:00 United Kingdom Medium CPI MM Jun
07:00 United Kingdom High CPI YY Jun
09:00 South Africa Medium CPI MM May
09:00 South Africa High CPI YY May
15:00 Canada High BoC Rate Decision 15 Jul
15:30 United States Not Rated EIA Wkly Crude Stk 10 Jul, w/e
20:00 Argentina Medium CPI MM Jun
23:45 New Zealand High CPI QQ Q2
23:45 New Zealand Medium CPI YY Q2
Japan High JP BOJ Rate Decision 15 Jul
Indonesia High Trade Balance (Bln of $) Jun


Thursday 16th July

03:00 China (Mainland) High Urban Investment (YTD)YY Jun
03:00 China (Mainland) High Industrial Output YY Jun
03:00 China (Mainland) High Retail Sales YY Jun
03:00 China (Mainland) High GDP YY Q2
03:00 China (Mainland) Medium GDP QQ SA Q2
07:00 United Kingdom High Claimant Count Unem Chng Jun
07:00 United Kingdom High ILO Unemployment Rate May
07:00 United Kingdom Medium Employment Change May
07:00 United Kingdom Medium Avg Wk Earnings 3M YY May
07:00 United Kingdom Medium Avg Earnings (Ex-Bonus) May
12:45 Euro Zone High ECB Refinancing Rate Jul
12:45 Euro Zone High ECB Deposit Rate Jul
13:30 United States High Initial Jobless Clm 6 Jul, w/e
13:30 United States Low Jobless Clm 4Wk Avg 6 Jul, w/e
13:30 United States Medium Cont Jobless Clm 29 Jun, w/e
13:30 United States High Philly Fed Business Indx Jul
13:30 United States Medium Retail Sales Ex-Autos MM Jun
13:30 United States High Retail Sales MM Jun
23:30 New Zealand Medium Manufacturing PMI Jun
Indonesia High 7-Day Reverse Repo Jul
Indonesia High Deposit Facility Rate Jul
Indonesia High Lending Facility Rate Jul


Friday 17th July

00:01 United Kingdom Medium GfK Consumer Confidence Jul
13:30 United States Medium Building Permits: Number Jun
13:30 United States High Housing Starts Number Jun
15:00 United States High U Mich Sentiment Prelim Jul



The big banks kick off earnings season and this time the focus might be more on job cut announcements, slashing of dividends, and ending of share buybacks.  With around 80% entering this earnings season with no real guidance in place, investors will look for signs on how strong companies balance sheets are and whether they remain optimistic about the US consumer.  JP Morgan, Citigroup, and Wells Fargo report on Monday, while Goldman Sachs delivers results on Wednesday.  Bank of America and Morgan Stanley report on Thursday morning and Netflix reports after the close. 

A wrath of economic data should also show the US economic rebound continued in June.  Retail sales are expected to remain strong following the biggest monthly increase ever.  Regional surveys from NY and Philadelphia are also expected to show the recovery is heading in the right direction, but further stimulus is still needed. 

No major surprises are expected from the Fed’s Kaplan on Monday, Harker on Wednesday, and Evans on Thursday.  The recovery will likely take a lot longer and policymakers will likely reiterate they are ready to act further if needed.   

US Politics

It is all about the Presidential election.  Former-VP Biden has a growing lead across several key battleground states.  President Trump has an outdoor rally in New Hampshire on Saturday as he will try to convince voters his economic plan is superior to Biden’s recently announced one.     

Democrats are eagerly awaiting former-VP Biden’s decision on his running mate.  Prior to COVID-19, the Democratic National Convention was originally scheduled in July, meaning we should have found out his decision by June.  Since the convention was delayed till August 17th, he will have more time to evaluate his candidates.  Biden will turn 78 a few weeks after the election, so his VP selection will be critical for many voters.


This week Rishi Sunak announced the latest raft of measures aimed at stabilizing the economy and protecting jobs, as a number of major retailers were making an announcement of their own, in the form of thousands of redundancies. This comes on top of the thousands already announced in recent weeks and the many more to come as the Chancellor winds down the furlough scheme.

The full impact won’t be seen in the jobs report next week but as the months go by, the unemployment rate will start rising rapidly. The furlough scheme combined with surveys on how employers expect to act once the scheme comes to an end suggests we could see near double digit unemployment rates. But this will inevitably change as the economy reopens and we see the real impact, for better or worse. More will be needed from the Chancellor in the months ahead. This is just a good start.


EU leaders will meet late next week for further discussions on the recovery fund, with some countries including Ireland pushing for a Brexit fund to be included in the budget in the event of no deal being agreed by the end of the year. We appear to be nearing an agreement, with the details of how countries will apply for grants to be agreed. 

The ECB is unlikely to add any stimulus next week, with the economic prospects seemingly improving. The Pandemic Emergency Purchase Program was already increased by €600 billion to €1.35 trillion in June and extended by six months to the middle of next year so there’ll be no rush to add to it again, although there is an expectation that they will need to later this year.


US announces sanctions on Chinese technology companies and Officials associated with minority repression in China. Concerns rising that the US will also try to block China banks access to US Dollars. This is highly unlikely. More measures are surely to come elevating the geopolitical tensions above the usual. The key will be China’s response. Trade negative, equities negative.

China Balance of Trade and GDP next week. GDP undershoot could see markets turn negative across Asia and Australasia.

China stock markets rose by 12% at one stage this week after the government told citizens to buy into China tech stocks. Today government entities have sold stocks to slow down the exuberance. You can’t make this up. Liquidity remains tight and Chinese bond markets remain under strong pressure.

Hong Kong

First week of Hong Kong security law passes without incident. Hang Seng coat tails Mainland stocks higher. Two key concerns. HK to shut schools again after community transmission of Covid-19 increases. International companies are worried about breaching HK security law by complying with new and upcoming China/HK sanctions. Potentially weighing on HK markets.

Talk of the US trying to undermine HKD peg is a storm in a teacup.


Covid-19 cases continue skyrocketing. India is now in top 4 for infections. INR remains under pressure as stress on the government budget and banking sector continue. Very real possibility that India will repeat Indonesia’s recent playbook, and get the central bank to directly purchase new government bond issues. Negative currency and stocks.


Australian Dollar range trading. Stock market concerns mounting over new Victoria State selk-isolation and Melbourne lockdown. Covid-19 cases climbing in Melbourne.

Australia offered a citizenship pathway to Hong Kong students studying in Australia this week and other highly skilled HK migrants. Negative rhetoric is increasing with China. Real threat that China will retaliate through trade bans. Equitys and AUD negative.

Australian unemployment on Thursday.


USD/JPY range trading. BoJ rate decision on Wednesday, expecting unchanged at -0.1%. Recent poor data suggest BoJ may tweet their QE and lending programmes. JPY negative.

Covid-19 cases remain stubbornly high in Tokyo. Officials say no cause for alarm, but disquiet rising.

Overall direction dictated by geopolitics next week



Oil is enjoying a summer break. It was an impressive recovery back to $40 but it’s been relatively uneventful since then. The $40 mark seems to be a widely accepted fair price for now, with WTI seeing resistance around $42 and support in the high 30’s. Similarly, Brent is seeing nice support around the $40 mark and resistance around $44. The fact that we’re seeing rising support may indicate that the path higher is still looking more plausible but many downside risks still remain, including second waves and a messy end to an otherwise successful coordinated production cut.


Gold is struggling to hang onto gains above $1,800, despite peaking around $1,817 on Wednesday. It’s held above since then but as we head into the end of the week, it’s coming under a little pressure and $1,800 is now being tested from the upside. A weekly close above $1,800 could be very technically significant for the yellow metal. A close below may be a red flag after a decent run for gold over the last month.


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Nansen third-party vendor suffers security breach, affects user data

The crypto analytics provider says a security breach of a third-party vendor has affected nearly 7% of users in the system who were promptly informed of…



The crypto analytics provider says a security breach of a third-party vendor has affected nearly 7% of users in the system who were promptly informed of the incident.

The prominent crypto and blockchain analytics company Nansen posted on social media platform X that one of its third-party vendors suffered a security breach that affected 6.8% of its users. 

According to Nansen, the breach gave hackers access to admin rights for an account used to “provision customer access” to its platform.

Without directly naming the company affected, it said this vendor is “an established company that is used by many Fortune 500 companies” along with other companies in the industry for the purpose of managing data. 

The users who were affected by the breach reportedly had their email addresses exposed, along with some password hashes and a small group had their blockchain addresses compromised.

Nansen said it has identified and informed those affected of the matter and asked all to change their passwords. It also clarified that wallet funds were unaffected by the event. 

Related: PayPal’s PYUSD struggles with early adoption — Nansen

Nansen is a prominent resource in the crypto space and provides on-chain analytics about many of the industry’s major players. 

In a recent interview with Cointelegraph, the CEO of Nansen, Alex Svanevik commented that he believes in the future a protocol will exist that creates a balance between blockchain transparency and user privacy and is compliant with regulators.

Back in May, the company was among the many that felt the effects of the ongoing bear market and laid off around 30% of its workforce. 

Magazine: How to protect your crypto in a volatile market: Bitcoin OGs and experts weigh in

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How air pollution is making life tougher for bugs

We’re making life tough for insects – and not just by swatting them away with a newspaper.




Air pollution is the latest threat facing our insects. Robbie Girling/Inka Lusebrink, CC BY-NC-SA

Whether you love them or loathe them, we all depend on bugs. Insects help to pollinate three-quarters of the world’s crop varieties, making them a treasured resource.

But we’re making the lives of insects tough – and not just by swatting them away with a newspaper. Insect populations worldwide are in sharp decline as they battle against climate change, habitat loss and pesticides.

Now, we can add air pollution to the list of threats. Our research from 2022 revealed that when exposed to two common air pollutants at concentrations within EU air quality limits, the visits of pollinating insects to flowers plummeted by as much as 90%.

Over a span of two years, we artificially elevated the levels of either ozone or diesel exhaust fumes around plots of flowering black mustard plants, all within fields of non-flowering wheat. We carefully monitored and controlled the release of pollutants using rings constructed around each plot.

This method allowed us to monitor the number of pollinating insects visiting the flowers in polluted plots and draw comparisons with plots devoid of pollutants.

We were surprised by what we found. In the rings where we released ozone or diesel exhaust fumes, the number of pollinating insects decreased by 70% and overall pollination success rates decreased by up to 31%.

It wasn’t just bees and butterflies that were affected. Ground-dwelling insects suffered too, with exposure to these pollutants causing their numbers to decrease by as much as 36%.

A fenced off ring in the middle of a field.
Eight rings were used to elevate pollution levels around flowering black mustard plants. Neil Mullinger, CC BY-NC-SA

Why air pollution makes life so hard

Many insects rely on their sense of smell to locate flowers. When they feed on nectar, they quickly connect the flower’s scent with its sugary reward. Consequently, when they come across the same scent later on, they track its trail in pursuit of another tasty treat.

Thus, flowers serve a dual purpose. They are not just pretty to look at but also function as beacons that release a specific blend of fragrant chemicals designed to attract pollinators.

But these signals are under threat. Air pollutants like ozone are highly reactive and can degrade the signals by destroying the chemicals that make up a flower’s scent.

In our more recent research, we simulated a floral scent in a 20-metre long wind tunnel and then mapped out how the levels of each of the chemicals that made up the scent changed in response to increasing ozone pollution. We found that ozone quickly ate away at the edges of the plume, reducing both its width and length.

Essentially, the chemical signal could travel only a shorter distance, which limited the number of insects it could reach.

Adding ozone also changes the smell of each of the chemicals that make up a flower’s scent. By observing these changes in a wind tunnel, we could measure the speed at which these chemical changes occur.

Some chemicals degraded within seconds, whereas others were not affected at all. How far away you are from the scent’s source appears to change how the scent smells.

Pavlov’s Bees

To understand how changes to the floral scent might affect pollinators, we taught honeybees to recognise the same floral scent that we released into the wind tunnel. Much like Pavlov’s dogs drooling at the sound of a dinner bell, bees stick out their proboscis (tube-like tongue) when they sniff an odour they have learned to associate with a sugary reward. This allowed us to see how many bees could still recognise the floral scent once it had been exposed to ozone pollution.

Like Pavlov’s dogs, bees can be trained to respond to a dinner bell – or in their case, the scent of a flower.

We first tested the honeybees with scent blends replicating those observed at the plume centre when ozone levels were elevated. At a distance of six metres from the flower, 52% of bees recognised the scent. This fell to only 38% at a distance of 12 metres.

We then tested the response of honeybees to the more degraded plume edges. Only 32% of the bees responded at six metres, falling to just 10% at 12 metres.

These results help to explain the significant decline in the number and diversity of insect visits and pollination rates observed in our field trials. Put simply, ozone pollution limits the reach of chemical signals and changes their meaning, leaving insects confused.

Two diagrams showing how ozone disrupts a flower's scent.
Ozone makes it difficult for insects to sniff out flowers. Ben Langford, CC BY-NC-SA

But this is unlikely to be the full story. Although we replicated the effects of ozone pollution on floral scents, we never exposed the bees directly to ozone. Separate research carried out in France suggests that direct exposure to ozone might also impair the ability of bees to detect floral scents.

The full extent to which air pollution is impacting the insects we all depend on is only just beginning to be revealed. So, the next time you lift your newspaper to swat a bug, take a second and ask yourself – don’t they have it tough enough already?

Ben Langford receives funding from the Natural Environmental Research Council

James Ryalls has received funding from The Leverhulme Trust and The Royal Society to conduct research on this topic.

Robbie Girling has received funding to conduct research on this topic from the Natural Environment Research Council, the Leverhulme Trust and the Gerald Kerkut Charitable Trust.

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Fast fashion’s waste problem could be solved by recycled textiles but brands need to help boost production

Brands like Zara and H&M are teaming up with recycled textile producers but more collaboration is needed.





Earlier this year, fast fashion retailer Zara released its first womenswear collection made of recycled poly-cotton textile waste. The collection is available for sale in 11 countries, helping clothing made of blended textile waste reach the mass market.

The collection came about after Zara’s parent company Inditex invested in textile recycler Circ. This follows a €100 million (£87 million) deal between Inditex and Finnish textile recycler Infinited Fiber Company for 30% of its recycled output. Zara’s fast fashion rival H&M has also entered a five-year contract with Swedish textile recycler Renewcell to acquire 9,072 tonnes of recycled fibre – equivalent to 50 million T-shirts.

There is a growing appetite among some fashion retailers to turn old clothes into high-quality fibres, and then into new clothes. But even though well-known brands are developing lines using recycled textiles, this movement has not yet reached the scale needed to have a truly global impact.

Before this recent growth in interest in textile recycling, fast fashion’s efforts to tackle throwaway attitudes towards affordable clothing often simply added to the global textile waste mountain – especially in developing countries, say campaigners like Greenpeace.

For example, a skirt deposited at a London chain store under a take-back scheme was reportedly found in a landfill in Bamako, Mali. This is not an isolated incident, it’s a sector-wide problem that sees old clothes being collected but not disposed of properly. An estimated 15 million used clothing items are shipped to Ghana each week from around the world and many end up in the country’s landfills. This is often referred to as waste colonialism.

The fast fashion industry needs greater access to recycled textiles to address this problem. But this means having the means to track “thrown-away” garments to collect those suitable for recycling. The industry also needs facilities that are big enough to turn this waste into new materials for clothing at the scale needed to meet mass market demand.

This is particularly important as these firms prepare for an EU crackdown on the region’s own waste mountain. Following the EU strategy for Sustainable and Circular textiles 2022, the European Commission is drafting new legislation over the next five years to make the fashion industry pay for the cost of processing discarded clothing.

Under the new EU rules, companies will be expected to collect waste equivalent to a certain percentage of their production. While the exact amount has not yet been confirmed yet, European commissioner for the environment Virginijus Sinkevičius has said it will “definitely” be more than 5% of production. Companies may have to pay a fee (reportedly equivalent to €0.12 per T-shirt) towards local authorities’ waste collection work.

White store background with sales display of grey coat, tree and light behind white clothing collection bin.
Many stores offer collection bins for old clothes. Inditex

But fast fashion brands must ensure that this doesn’t just dump the problem of textile waste into other countries’ landfills. Instead, developing lines out of recycled textiles could give these old clothes a new lease of life.

A Fashion Pact signed by more than 160 brands (a third of the sector by volume) commits companies to ensure that, by 2025, 25% of the raw materials such as textiles that they use have a low impact on the environment – recycled fibre is considered a low-impact material. Some brands have set more ambitious targets, including Adidas, which has committed to using 100% recycled plastics by 2024, and Zara-owner Inditex, which pledged to source 40% of its fibres from recycling processes by 2030.

These impending deadlines, plus the EU legislation, should motivate brands to use more recycled fibres. While the supply of such material is currently limited, an influx of recycling start-ups are finding ways to turn old clothes into new fibres that replicate the look and feel of virgin materials.

Start-ups like Spinnova, Renewcell and Infinited Fibre have developed chemical recycling technologies to create new fibres from cotton-rich clothing. And while cheap low-cost blended materials like poly-cotton are difficult to separate and recycle, firms like Worn Again, Envrnu, and Circ are tackling this problem, too.

Worn Again plans to build a new recycling demo plant in Switzerland, paving the way for 40 licensed plants by 2040, which would be capable of processing 1.8 million tonnes of textile waste per year.

Taking textile recycling from hype to reality

Up to 26% of Europe’s textile waste could be recycled by 2030, according to some estimates, according to a 2022 McKinsey report. This would generate €3.5-€4.5 billion in economic output for the EU, create 15,000 new jobs, and save 3.6 million tonnes of CO². But only 1% of textiles are currently being recycled globally into new clothes – the recycling technology needed for this shift is still in its infancy.

Part of the challenge in scaling up textile recycling to this degree is the lack of information available about what happens to clothes that are thrown away. Sharing data on the volume, locations and compositions of waste generated in the supply chain and collected post-consumption would help evaluate the full potential of textile recycling. Companies like Reverse Resources already provide online databases of information on textile waste – in this case for a global network of 70 recyclers, 44 waste handlers and 1,287 manufacturers in 24 countries.

Bales of clothes stacked in piles in a warehouse.
A textile recycling centre. Martin de Jong/Shutterstock

Increasing textile recycling will require a collaborative approach, as will the development of the technology needed to create high-quality recycled textiles. Brands, investors, suppliers, recyclers, technology providers and local governments must come together to find ways to grow the textile recycling industry. The recent New Cotton Project that involves 12 brands (including H&M group and Adidas), manufacturers, suppliers and research institutes is a first step towards increasing textile recycling.

More money is also needed from all of these groups. To reach the recycling rate of 18%-26% by 2030, it will take billions in infrastructure investment for collecting, sorting and processing textile waste.

Textile recycling is no longer for a few “sustainable” fashion firms – it is quickly becoming a reality that no fast fashion firm can ignore. Shoppers must demand that the brands they love show their commitment to textile recycling beyond marketing campaigns and low-volume fashion collections.

The authors do not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and have disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

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