Russia: S&P Downgrades Russia to BBB- Amid Capital Outflows
Credit rating agency Standard and Poor’s downgraded Russia’s rating from BBB to BBB-. The agency explained that tensions between Russia and Ukraine are leading to large capital outflows from Russia and damaging its growth prospects.

Brazil: World Cup Power Cut Fears Spur Record Brazil LNG Buying
The Brazilian state-owned energy company is buying record amounts of LNG to run gas-fired power plants. Brazil typically meets 70% of its power needs from hydroelectric sources but is struggling to meet demands amid a severe drought.

Japan: Tokyo Consumer Price Growth at 22-year High
According to the BBC News, consumer prices in Tokyo rose at their fastest pace in 22 years in April, surging 2.7% from a year earlier, according to preliminary data. The inflation rate in Tokyo is seen as a leading indicator of the trend that is likely to follow across the country in coming months.

South Korea: Obama Visits South Korea as North Shows Nuclear Test Signs
Bloomberg reports on the recent visit of President Barack Obama to South Korea, where he will talk with Korean authorities about containing the possible North Korean’s nuclear weapons development. According to Bloomberg, ending North Korea’s nuclear ambitions is a centerpiece of U.S. policy in Asia.

United Kingdom: UK Retail Sales Edged Up in March, Says ONS
BBC reports that retail sales in the UK edged up in March. Sales volumes were 0.1% higher than in the previous month. According to ONS, the improvement came on the back of better weather which lead more people heading out to the shops.

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