China's factories flatlined in June as exports shrank and jobs were cut, a worrying trend evident across Asia that argues for yet more policy stimulus as doubts gather over the potency of measures taken so far. The hard times signaled by a range of surveys was not what the world needed a week after Britain's vote to leave the European Union condemned that bloc to months, if not years, of political and economic instability.
Australia's leaders made last-gasp pitches Friday to wow voters on the eve of elections as polls pointed to a cliffhanger and the media swung behind "reformer" Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. Liberal Turnbull and Labor opposition leader Bill Shorten both campaigned in Sydney on their final day on the hustings as a poll in The Sydney Morning Herald showed them locked in a dead heat on a two-party basis. Turnbull, who has capitalised on the instability sparked by Britain's decision to exit the European Union, said the uncertainty of a hung parliament would be a disaster as he appealed for voters not to go down that road.