24 October – 28 October
The abnormally quiet weekend at bars, cinemas and golf courses that followed the death of King Bhumibol Adulyadej on October 13 hints at hard times ahead for the recovering Thai economy.
Economic data released in China last week revealed the government’s two-steps-forward, one-step-back approach to macroeconomic management. While the rest of the world fretted about runaway debt levels in the world’s second-largest economy earlier this year, Chinese economic planners kept their eyes firmly on their target range for gross domestic product growth, set at 6.5 to 7 per cent.
At Anno Walivaka’s two-acre family farm in a valley below Mount Elgon in western Kenya, daily milk production from its handful of cows has increased from less than 5 litres per animal to more than 15 within a decade. And Mr Walivaka is confident that soon “it could get to 20 or even 25 litres”.
Global sales of new corporate bonds have slowed this month, ahead of a US election and central bank meetings which have the potential to cause turbulence that can close markets to all but the most reliable borrowers.
Investors in Puerto Rican debt have clashed in US federal court over a temporary halt to litigation in one of the first significant disputes between creditors since the crisis intensified last year.
South Korea’s economy slowed in the third quarter as corporate woes such as Samsung’s smartphone recall, a strike at Hyundai Motor and Hanjin Shipping’s bankruptcy took a toll on the export-dependent nation.
Brexit is a constitutional decision that will repatriate a host of economic policy levers. Yet Remainers still take it as given that Britain’s exit from the EU will make it permanently poorer. Led by the Treasury, most assume that leaving must mean an economy averse to trade and migration, with little in the way of positive regulatory change. It is as if the UK within the EU is the pinnacle of economic dynamism.
Vitol, the world’s biggest independent oil trader, said on Monday it agreed to sell a 50 per cent stake in its VTTI oil tank business for $1.15bn
Mozambique’s $726m “tuna bond” slid to a record low after the government admitted it would have to restructure its debts to emerge from “debt distress” and win succour from the International Monetary Fund.
Investors clamoured for a piece of a €6.2bn bond sale from Danone on Tuesday, prompting the world’s largest yoghurt maker to boost the size and tighten the terms of the deal, US capital markets correspondent Eric Platt reports.
Stock markets are mostly softer amid falling oil prices and some disappointing corporate earnings, while the dollar eases from multi-month highs as short-term US bond yields reflect expectations of a Federal Reserve rate rise in December. Sterling, meanwhile, is yet to fully recover after Tuesday’s sharp drop.
Beer sales by volume picked up at Heineken in the third quarter despite continued weak demand in markets such as Russia, Egypt and the Democratic Republic of the Congo but the Dutch brewing heavyweight has warned that its full year operating profit could be hit to the tune of €215m if foreign exchange markets remain as volatile as at present.
The UK has posted a stronger-than-expected GDP growth of 0.5 per cent, defying Treasury warnings of the threat of an imminent recession sparked by the vote to leave the EU.
The costly recall of its flammable Galaxy Note 7 devices has dragged Samsung Electronics to its lowest quarterly profit in two years, all-but erasing earnings from its mobile unit in the three months to October.
Oil prices were in retreat at the end of the US trading day on Wednesday, as the tech-heavy Nasdaq continued to sag a day after tech giant Apple released disappointing quarterly results.
Sterling is the crème brûlée of major currencies: tap the surface and you will discover squidgy goo beneath. On Tuesday, with no obvious trigger, the pound slumped by 1 per cent to reach its weakest point against the dollar since the eye-popping flash crash at the start of this month.
The UK’s first official growth figures since the Brexit vote have confounded the government’s warnings of an immediate recession if Britain voted to leave the EU. The economy was 0.5 per cent larger between July and September than three months earlier, according to the Office for National Statistics Continued. The Treasury had predicted it would shrink 0.1 per cent.
Shares of Ford Motor fell after the car maker reported a more than 50 per cent drop in third-quarter profits and warned of higher Brexit-related losses next year. On the other hand, Bristol-Myers Squibb shares jumped 5 per cent after the drugmaker raised its full-year earnings outlook and third-quarter results exceeded Wall Street estimates.
Selfridges, the upmarket UK department store chain, has reported strong sales growth but posted a drop in full-year profits after an investment programme ate into its balance sheet.
Markets in Asia were trading cautiously on Friday after an overnight jump in sovereign bond yields resulted in a choppy session for stocks and currencies. Yields (which move inversely to price) on a number of major government bonds have begun to track higher as investors weigh a reduced need for accommodative monetary policy following a handful of better-than-expected data releases.