Global business

Worries about the Chinese economy and other emerging markets continued to take their toll on commodity prices, pushing the price of copper to under $5,000 a ton on the London Metal Exchange for the first time in six years. Brent crude fell to under $47 a barrel. Glencore admitted that it had misjudged the effect that the slowdown in China would have on its business, as the mining and commodity-trading company reported dismal earnings for the first half of the year. Its share price has fallen by 47 percent so far this year.

The Obama administration proposed another tweak to the United States' ban on exporting crude oil, which has been in place since the Arab embargo of the early 1970s. The administration is to allow Mexico to swap barrels of the heavy crude that it produces for the light, sweet stuff that U.S. producers frack from shale. Although technically this counts as an exchange of oil, it chips away at an oil-export ban that is ostensibly designed to keep fuel prices low in the United States, but which distorts global markets and harms consumers.

Carlsberg's share price fell sharply after it reported disappointing quarterly earnings. The Danish brewer's business in Russia, which once accounted for half its sales, has been hammered by a state crackdown on street drinking as well as the economy's descent into recession: operating profit in Eastern Europe fell by 35 percent. The new chief executive, Cees 't Hart, the first non-Dane to lead Carlsberg, cut the company's profit forecast for the year and promised to report the findings of a strategy review in early 2016.

Britain's annual inflation rate rose in July to 0.1 percent from zero in June. But the core rate, which excludes energy and food prices, jumped to 1.2 percent, a figure that the Bank of England will take on board as it ponders when to time an increase in interest rates.

In a setback for the government's program of economic reforms, Japan's GDP shrank by an annualized rate of 1.6 percent in the second quarter, the first contraction since a steep rise in the sales tax in mid-2014 deterred spending. Private consumption, the main driver of the economy, remains weak, but business investment and net exports also fell.

The eurozone's economy grew by 0.3 percent from April to June by comparison with the previous three months, slightly less than the 0.4 percent that it registered in the first quarter. The surprisingly feeble showing comes despite the European Central Bank launching a big bond-buying program in March and a depreciated euro, which should boost exports. Germany's GDP expanded by just 0.4 percent in the quarter and France recorded zero growth. Still, Greece grew by 0.8 percent and Spain by 1 percent. The currency bloc remains on course for its best annual economic performance since 2011.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first drug, Addyi, that increases the sexual drive of women. The decision is controversial. Some groups had pressed the agency "to level the playing field when it comes to the treatment of women's sexual dysfunction." But Addyi comes with a big warning from the FDA that taking it with alcohol increases the risk of low blood pressure and fainting.

Political economy

A bomb that went off at a popular shrine in central Bangkok, the capital of Thailand, killed 20 people and injured more than 100. It was unclear who had detonated the device. Thailand's military junta, which seized power last year and which called the attack the worst-ever such incident in the country, blamed a "network" but said it was "unlikely" it was the work of international terrorists.

In Sri Lanka, the ruling United National Party won a majority of seats in a general election, blocking the attempt by a former authoritarian president, Mahinda Rajapaksa, to regain power via Parliament.

Shuja Khanzada, a minister who led anti-terrorism efforts in Punjab, Pakistan's most populous province, was killed by a suicide bombing in which at least 19 other people died. Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, a group affiliated to the Taliban, claimed responsibility in revenge for the death of its leader, Malik Ishaq, in police custody last month.

Search teams located the black boxes of a commercial aircraft that went down in the remote province of Papua in eastern Indonesia. All 54 people on board were killed.

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