Business Calendar: rate hikes at the ready

STORY: Here’s what to watch in the world of business and finance over the week to July 8.

The European Central Bank will begin buying bonds from Italy and other southern states.

The goal is to stop borrowing costs there rising too much compared with richer neighbors.

Markets will test whether the ECB has the firepower to make a difference.

New data is forecast to show 295,000 jobs being added in the U.S. in June.

Anything much less than that will bolster calls for slower or smaller rate hikes by the Fed.

Australia’s central bank is set to raise rates, with markets expecting a half percentage point increase.

With inflation at two-decade peaks, traders bet the bank can’t do any less.

Eastern Europe could join the rush to raise rates too.

Hikes are expected in Romania, Poland and Serbia.

Policymakers in the region are under pressure from soaring inflation and crashing currencies.

But stock traders may look to China for a second-half bounce.

Looser lockdowns and an easing of Beijing’s crackdown on tech titans have lifted spirits there.

That helped the MSCI China index easily outperform the S&P in the first half.