U.S. mortgage demand boosted by refinancing as rates drop
Demand for U.S. home loans rose last week as a decline in 30-year fixed mortgage rates to a three-week low boosted applications for refinancing, the Mortgage Bankers Association said on Wednesday.See full article here.

Planned layoffs accelerate again in July
Planned layoffs at U.S. firms increased in July for the first time in six months, signaling more uneasy times for workers and a continued drag on consumer spending and the broader economy.See full article here.

Procter & Gamble profit falls
Procter & Gamble Co posted an 18 percent drop in quarterly profit, as sales fell across all of its businesses, but stood by its profit forecast as the pressure of foreign currency fluctuations eases. See full article here.

Citi plans to sell 20 consumer finance businesses: report

Citigroup plans to sell 20 businesses in consumer finance area, many of them located in Europe, its CEO Vikram Pandit said in an interview with Singapore's Business Times. See full article here.

Lloyds posts loss as bad debts hit 13 billion pounds
Britain's Lloyds Banking Group sank to a 4 billion pounds ($6.8 billion) loss in the first half, battered by a surge in bad debts from its HBOS business, but the bank told investors it was through the worst. See full article here.

SocGen profits bolstered by market rebound
Unexpectedly modest bad debt provisions and an investment banking recovery cushioned Societe Generale against steep falls in second quarter profits and the French bank said there were signs of stabler market conditions ahead. See full article here.

Global risk appetite wanes; eyes on central banks
The rally in global equities took a breather on Wednesday while the dollar hovered near its 2009 lows with two major central banks' policy meetings and key U.S. labor data looming. See full article here.