Live updates: U.S. homebuilder confidence plummets as housing affordability weakens

Afghanistan has two anniversaries ahead. Friday is Independence Day, commemorating the signing of the Treaty of Rawalpindi in 1919, in which Britain granted Afghanistan self-determination over its foreign affairs. However, most will be most concerned about Monday, which marks one year since the Taliban regained control.

This week also begins with the 75th anniversary of the British withdrawal from the Indian subcontinent, marking the partition of India and Pakistan. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is to address the nation from Delhi’s historic Red Fort, with the focus likely on unrest in Kashmir, the country’s only Muslim-majority state.

For UK schoolchildren, it’s all about the present as pupils in England, Wales and Northern Ireland receive the emails and envelopes containing their A-level and vocational exam results on Thursday. The task of accepting and finding university places through the compensation process will then begin in earnest.

As with the Advanced Higher exam results announced for pupils in Scottish schools last week, A-level results are expected to be down from last year, but likely up from pre-pandemic years. The AQA review body said proofs would be graded more generously to reflect the return to normal testing conditions.

The UK’s summer of discontent will be marked by another nationwide railway strike this week, heightened by a general strike across London’s public transport systems. Next Sunday more than 1,900 workers at Britain’s largest container port, Felixstowe, are set to go on strike, and we have another week of strike action by criminal lawyers in the courts of England and the Country of Wales, with no resolution in sight.

We are about to take a big step forward in NASA’s Artemis space program. The mission aims to land the first female and ethnic minority astronaut on the Moon, preparing for a long-term lunar presence and providing a springboard for sending humans to Mars. Nasa plans to livestream the transfer of the Artemis 1 rocket to the launch pad on Wednesday with the aim of completing liftoff by the end of the month.

Economic data

Inflation watchers will be busy this week with updates from the EU, Japan and Canada, and Wednesday’s release of the latest Federal Open Market Committee meeting minutes may give some indication of the Fed’s willingness to tighten monetary policy.

It will also be a busy week for UK economic news with figures on jobs, inflation, productivity, retail sales, consumer confidence and house prices. All are likely to gather comments on the state of UK plc.

Companies

This week we come to the end of the current reporting season with results from a group of retailers that are either purely online or have benefited greatly from e-commerce, including walmart tuesday, Target and Tencent a day later, and AO World Thursday.

AO World is trying to shift its business model from growing sales to creating and maintaining margins. The problem for these retailers as we enter an economic downturn will be maintaining sufficient sales demand.

Read the full schedule for the week ahead here.

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