With Patriot Coal’s bankruptcy last week, stocks in that energy sector segment were even more out of favor. China’s GDP numbers for the second quarter were poorly received, and Australian firms were hit hard due to the country’s massive natural resources trade with China. Melbourne-based BHP Billiton (BHP, quote) was one of those firms, but it is an appealing value investment.
The Indian government is scrambling this morning after a Times of India report alleging that $210 billion in revenues have been lost in a coal scam of “epic proportions.” The scandal involves most of India’s top steel companies, including the Tata Group and Jindal Steel & Power.
A combination of policy moves and a slowing economy have weakened the Brazilian real by 4.8% since the beginning of March, making it the worst performing currency tracked by Bloomberg. For exporters, this is a welcome change from the 8.7% appreciation in the first two months of the year, consequently making it the best-performing currency.