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USS Boxer.

US President Donald Trump said Thursday that the US Navy near the Strait of Hormuz shot down an Iranian drone after it came within 1,000 yards of USS Boxer assault ship.

Iran denies any shootdown

Iran’s deputy foreign minister Abbas Araqchi however said that they had not lost any drone in the Strait or anywhere else. The US-alleged downing of Iranian UAV comes a month after Iran shot down a US military drone in the region.

Tensions are still high also thanks to Iran’s seizure of a foreign oil tanker and her crew amid accusations of ‘smuggling.’ The US demanded from Iran to release the vessel and vowed to work “aggressively” to ensure freedom of navigation in the Gulf.

Sino-US talks in slow pace

US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said that American and Chinese negotiators talked Thursday. Lighthizer provided no further details regarding the content of the talks on the phone. That was the second time the two sides talked on the phone since China and the US agreed to a second ceasefire at the G20 summit last month.

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has that if discussions with the Chinese were productive that he and Lighthizer would travel to Beijing for face-to-face negotiations.

IEA cuts forecasts

The International Energy Agency (IEA) has slashed its 2019 oil demand growth forecast to 1.1 million barrels per day (bpd) due to a global economic slowdown as the US-China trade war drags on.

Williams’ remarks read as cut sign

New York Federal Reserve chair John Williams said policymakers needed to add stimulus to deal with challenged the US economy is facing, particularly in lower inflation. “It’s better to take preventative measures than to wait for disaster to unfold,” Williams told a financiers’ gathering.

However his speech was later clarified by a spokesperson for the New York Fed as “not about potential policy actions at the upcoming FOMC meeting,” according to CNBC.

Italian government crisis

Caught in the prospects of a potential government crisis, Italians are awaiting to see how the coalition will work out their differences to survive the summer. The Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio asked on Friday his government partner and co-deputy PM Matteo Salvini a meeting to resolve their differences regarding their approach to the European Union. There has already been suggestions to dissolve the Parliament and go for snap elections.

UK House rejects no-deal prospects

The UK Parliament passed an amendment to prevent the suspension of the Commons and make it more difficult for the next prime minister to go for a no-deal Brexit. The move came after Number 10 hopefuls Jeremy Hunt and Boris Johnson refuse to reject a crash-out from the EU.

Japan’s inflation dilemma

Japan’s core consumer price index rose 0.6% in June from a year earlier, hitting a two-year low but largely matching the forecasts. The rather weak figure came as one more sign of BoJ’s need to increase stimulus for the economy.

BoJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said on Thursday in Paris that his leadership will take into account economic developments until the last minute before it decides policy this month.



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