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The pound is on the march, up against the U.S. dollar for seven days running. At $1.30, it’s more than 8% above its 2017 low, though still well short of the $1.48 it commanded before the 2016 Brexit referendum. Traders have been reacting to hints from Bank of England policy makers that they will raise interest rates, and analysts predict sterling will continue to climb. The euro has also risen for three days in a row, again on more hawkish signals from the European Central Bank. — Andy Reinhardt
Keeping the faith. Russian officials said they’re still hopeful President Donald Trump can pull off an improvement in relations, but they’re shocked by the Washington infighting over alleged Kremlin meddling in the U.S. election. Early Russian euphoria at Trump’s election—after he’d repeatedly praised Putin during the campaign—has faded.
Not dancing around it. German Chancellor Angela Merkel took thinly-veiled swipes at Trump and Britain’s plan to leave the EU ahead of next week’s G-20 summit in Hamburg. Anticipating a potentially tense meeting, she said, “the discord is obvious and it would be dishonest to paper over the conflict.”
Lost empire. On the 10th anniversary of the iPhone, it’s worth remembering the Finnish company that dominated the mobile phone industry for two decades before being swept aside by Apple. Nokia had sales of more than $26 billion last year, but in a different industry: the esoteric and pricey equipment that powers the world’s wireless networks.
Awakened. The prospect of four of the world’s five largest central banks moving to tighten policy at the same time is shocking traders after years of easing. Two weeks of rhetoric from policy makers in Europe and North America has rewritten the outlook for markets in the second half of 2017.
Six jobs and counting. Former U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne was appointed honorary professor of economics at the University of Manchester as he added to his portfolio of jobs since quitting politics. Osborne already edits the London Evening Standard newspaper and is a £650,000-per-year adviser to investment firm BlackRock.
Making money from snoozing. People in small-town Spain still take traditional mid-day siestas, but in big cities, the custom is on the wane. Entrepreneur Maria Estrella Jorro de Inza is trying to fight that with Madrid’s first nap-bar, called Siesta and Go. For just €14 an hour, customers can take a power nap in a private bedroom before heading back to work.
Compiled by Andy Reinhardt