Fitch Ratings has been making headlines lately after it warned that it is taking a cautious stance on China's credit rating amid rising economic risks, warning it may downgrade the country from A+ if corporate debt deteriorates further. While government debt is still high at 60% of GDP, Fitch is more concerned about contingent liabilities and an expanded balance sheet to support troubled sectors like property. The property market is undergoing structural changes as Beijing reduces its dependence on real estate, unwilling to provide broad support despite major developers defaulting on debts. At the same time, Fitch recently downgraded the US and Ecuador on growing fiscal and political concerns that could constrain their ability to fund deficits and access credit markets.


Wall Street closed lower on Thursday as rising bond yields neared the 2007 level. Health insurance, airline, and homebuilder stocks were notably weak, while energy and Cisco shares were stronger. Walmart tumbled 2.24% on a slower consumer demand outlook, although it reported the highest quarterly EPS.


Gold prices extended their losing streak to nine straight sessions this week, dropping to their lowest level since March as a stronger dollar and rising yields following hawkish Fed minutes dampened demand. Gold futures edged slightly higher on Friday but remain on track for a fourth consecutive weekly decline amid concerns over the Fed's higher interest rate outlook.


Oil prices could halt a 7-week rally over slowing Chinese demand and sustained high US rates, though US crude stocks dropped. The Fed's inflation fight despite strong US data implies higher rates may continue, which is concerning for oil demand growth and price value. However, China tapped strategic crude reserves in July for the first time in 33 months to support its faltering economy.


The dollar index eased from two-month highs on Friday but was still set for a fifth straight weekly gain as the Fed minutes showed policymakers emphasising upside inflation risks. Major Asian currencies like the Chinese yuan, Japanese yen, and Australian dollar rose slightly, recovering from steep losses earlier this week, helped by China's prospect of more economic stimulus. Bitcoin dropped more than 7% in a flash crash yesterday after rumours of Elon Musk's SpaceX dumping its whole bitcoin portfolio worth $373 million.