The Greek population overwhelmingly voted "Oxi" (No) last weekend, rejecting terms from their creditors to make spending cuts and tax increases in return for another bailout. This rejection caused a fresh tailspin in the euro as it looked more likely that Greece's default would worsen and eventually lead to their ejection from the Eurozone, knocking the currency to a one-month low near $1.09.
On Friday, despite the public's vote against austerity, Greek Prime Minister Tsipras announced that Greece would make rapid changes to its tax structure, pension plans, and annual budget in an effort to garner its third bailout in six years.
Although Greece's creditors have yet to approve the deal, markets reacted favorably to the offer, pushing the euro currency and stock markets sharply higher. This weekend, the other European nations and the International Monetary Fund will meet to assess the plan and possibly cut a deal.
Copper Meltdown on China Fears
Copper prices collapsed to a six-year low this week as fears of a global economic slowdown worsened. All eyes were on China, where its domestic stock markets collapsed by 30% or more during the week, prompting suspension of trading of many stocks.
Copper is primarily used for construction and manufacturing applications, making it especially sensitive to global growth, which looks troubled as a result of European and Chinese woes. Partially on these concerns, the International Monetary Fund recently lowered its projection for global economic growth from 3.5% to 3.3%.
As a result, copper prices slid as low as $2.39 per pound, a price not seen since 2009.
USDA Keeps Corn Popping
On Friday, the USDA updated its estimate of the US corn crop, projecting a smaller harvest this fall than it did last month. Hurt by heavy rains that damaged crop quality and prevented planting, the US corn crop is forecast at 13.5 billion bushels, a sharp drop from last year's record-breaking 14.2 billion bushel crop.
Although there is no fear of the US running out of corn this year, a tighter outlook has been helping to boost prices, which traded as high as $4.49 per bushel on Friday. For many US farmers, this rally has been a welcome relief from the recent low price of $3.63 in mid-June.