The European Commission, the European Union's executive branch, proposed creation in 2012 of a regulatory watchdog to oversee opaque financial practices. The new agency will target short-selling and derivatives trades and will have the power to ban them for up to three-month periods.

The World Trade Organization ruled that aircraft maker Boeing had received illegal subsidies from the U.S. government. The details of the decision remained confidential. The WTO had earlier ruled that Airbus, Boeing's European rival, had also been getting illegal low-interest government loans. The United States and the EU filed their WTO cases against each other in 2004.

Greece managed to raise $1.6 billion in six-month bills in its second foray into the markets since its bailout in May. The sale was 4.5 times oversubscribed, but investors demanded a 4.82 percent yield. The debt-laden country paid 4.65 percent in its last auction, in July. The Greek debt-management authority plans to tap the markets on a monthly basis, issuing three- and six-month paper.

Turkey's economy grew by an impressive 3.7 percent in the second quarter and by 10.3 percent year-on-year.

Japan intervened to drive down the yen for the first time since 2004 after the currency hit a 15-year high against the dollar. Naoto Kan, the Japanese prime minister, said he would take action again to curb the rise of the currency, which has been threatening the country's fragile economy.

AIG is planning a Hong Kong listing for AIA, its Asian life-insurance unit. The company, nearly 80 percent owned by the U.S. government, is disposing of assets to repay a $182.3 billion taxpayer infusion during the crisis. Earlier in 2010 AIG tried to sell its Asian business to Prudential, a British insurer, for $35.5 billion but the deal fell through.

Nokia hired Stephen Elop, a former Microsoft executive, to replace Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo, who will be stepping down as chief executive. The Finnish company also launched three new smart-phone models in an attempt to rebuild eroding market share. Nokia has failed to produce a serious competitor to the iPhone so far, but remains the world's biggest mobile-phone manufacturer.

Political economy

The Indian environmental protection agency blocked plans by Lafarge, the world's biggest cement maker, to build a factory in the Himalayas. The $187 million limestone quarry and plant project is backed by the local community. The French company, which has faced difficulties operating in India before, said it remained committed to building it.

Speculation grew that Yuri Luzkhov, the powerful and long-serving mayor of Moscow, had fallen out with Dmitry Medvedev, Russia's president, and might be forced to quit. Luzkhov faced harsh criticism in an investigative report on the state-owned NTV television channel.

The Obama administration has announced plans to sell Saudi Arabia arms worth as much as $90 billion over the coming decade, in what would amount to America's biggest-ever weapons sale. The package includes dozens of fighter jets, which could be used in any future confrontation with a nuclear-armed Iran.

Cuba's labor federation announced that more than 1 million state employees -- one-fifth of Cuba's workforce -- will lose their jobs. They will be expected to become self-employed or join new private enterprises.