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Good morning. Prosecutors are seeking jail time for a blue-chip CEO, there's haggling over U.S. stimulus and more big European earnings are due. Here's what's moving markets.

`Get Worse'

U.S. President Donald Trump was notably more reserved on the outlook for the coronavirus as he resumed giving press conferences on the outbreak. "It will probably, unfortunately, get worse before it gets better," Trump said as he told Americans to wear a mask whether they like it or not. Trump's comments came as outbreaks escalated in some states, with California's infections topping 400,000 and Texas reporting its second-deadliest day. And in Europe, Austria is reintroducing a requirement that face masks be worn in some places including supermarkets and banks. The small country previously received praise for its success in stemming the outbreak early.

Failed to Investigate

The U.K. government failed to investigate whether Russia interfered in the Brexit referendum and "actively avoided" looking into it, according to a long-anticipated parliamentary inquiry. Members of the Intelligence and Security Committee accused ministers of deliberately dodging the question because they did not want to know, but the government dismissed the findings and rejected the panel's call for a full review into whether the Kremlin swayed the vote. Britain is "not for a second complacent about the threat Russia poses when it comes to cyber," Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab added.

Crude Awakening

Italian prosecutors are seeking an eight-year jail term for the Chief Executive Officer of oil major Eni SpA, in a billion-dollar bribery scandal over a Nigerian offshore license. CEO Claudio Descalzi is among industry executives accused of transferring funds to a Nigerian account, knowing that they would be disbursed as bribes. Other defendants include former Eni CEO Paolo Scaroni and former Royal Dutch Shell Plc exploration chief Malcolm Brinded. The companies and individuals accused have consistently denied any wrongdoing. The Italian system has three rounds of sentencing before coming to a final conviction. The first of these is expected to come by the end of the year.

Aid Delay

The U.S. Congress probably won't pass its next stimulus bill within two weeks, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told Politico. Republicans crafting their own plan for a new U.S. virus-relief bill broadly endorsed a fresh round of stimulus checks to individuals, extended supplemental jobless benefits and more money for testing while voicing doubts over President Donald Trump's desired payroll tax cut. The differences between the GOP and White House may delay any action into August.

Coming Up…

Swiss industrial group ABB Ltd posted consensus-beating results for the second quarter, while Dutch chemicals giant Akzo Nobel NV suspended 2020 targets after a 44% decline in quarterly profit. Other companies on this morning's earnings schedule include power company Iberdrola SA and soft drinks supplier Britvic Plc. Gold miner Fresnillo Plc and copper miner Antofagasta Plc, both outperformers during the virus crisis, will release production figures. Ubisoft Entertainment SA, Ingenico Group and Soitec are among companies expected to post updates after European markets close.

What We've Been Reading

This is what's caught our eye over the past 24 hours. 

And finally, here's what Cormac Mullen is interested in this morning

Tuesday's slide in the dollar has brought to an end a nearly decade-long uptrend in the American currency. Deutsche Bank's trade-weighted gauge of the greenback has fallen below the trendline I flagged last week, one that was in place since 2011. Declines accelerated this week as a resurgent euro benefited from the European Union's historic stimulus package. Yet the slide didn't register with all dollar-sensitive assets. For example, emerging Asian shares -- which traditionally strengthen when the dollar weakens -- were little changed Wednesday. The MSCI Asia ex-Japan Index, which has had a close relationship with the Bloomberg JPMorgan Asia Dollar Index over the past number of years, had already broken away and is trading near its highest since 2018, thanks to China's stock surge. Asia traders could be forgiven for thinking that was enough for now. The benchmark of Asian currencies still needs to rise about half-a-percentage point more to break out of its own downtrend. That would be seen as a clearer sign of Asian currency strength and more supportive of the region's stocks. If it stays in its current trading range, it seems equity investors in the region will have to look beyond the dollar for a fresh bullish catalyst.

Cormac Mullen is a cross-asset reporter and editor for Bloomberg News in Tokyo.

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