12  December – 16 December

12 December

Italy’s beleaguered economy will struggle to achieve growth above 1 per cent over the next two years in the aftermath of renewed political and financial instability, according to a major rating agency.

Eurozone sovereign bond yields are surging to their highest levels since the start of the year as the Federal Reserve gets ready to raise interest rates for the second time in a decade later this week.

The Shenzhen Stock Exchange’s benchmark index fell as much as 2.6 per cent on Monday as foreign investor participation in a much-vaunted stock market link-up with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange remained muted.

Investors sank their teeth into Chipotle on Monday, sending shares of the fast-casual burrito chain up more than 3 per cent after it announced it will return to having just one chief executive following the departure of co-chief executive Monty Moran.

13 December

Prudential Financial has been dragged into the Wells Fargo sham accounts scandal as it suspends a distribution deal with the bank amid allegations executives at the US insurer covered up fraudulent sales of its policies.

Fund managers have given a cool reception to Ofcom’s plans to force change on BT, with top City investors meeting the regulator and expressing frustration at the disruption it has caused in the telecoms market.

Demand for oil will outstrip supply in the next six months as long as Opec and countries outside the cartel can implement a deal signed at the weekend to lower output, according to one of the world’s leading energy forecasters.

Spain’s annual inflation rate stayed steady at three-year highs in November, the statistics office confirmed.

14 December

The Federal Reserve on Wednesday will hold its final rate-setting meeting before Donald Trump is due to enter the Oval Office. A quarter-point increase in the federal funds rate target range to 0.5-0.75 per cent has already been priced in by the markets, so the focus will be firmly on what happens to policy in 2017 and beyond.

US companies in the lower rungs of investment grade are facing long-term borrowing costs of almost 5 per cent, a sharp reversal of a six-decade low touched just monthsa ago, as the sell-off in sovereign bonds ripples out in the corporate debt market.
“America is not a country, it is a world,” remarked Oscar Wilde in an interview with the Cleveland Leader about his time in the US. Since Donald Trump’s victory in the presidential election, Wall Street’s record run has outpaced global equities, not least in Europe.

Insurer and asset manager Old Mutual will sell 13m shares as it ploughs on with a complete break-up of the group. Old Mutual announced the offering of its ordinary shares as well as the repurchase of 6m shares through its US asset management arm on Tuesday.

15 December

The Bank of Korea has left interest rates unchanged in December, as expected. Rates were held at 1.25 per cent, the level reached by June’s sole cut of 2016.

Subprime borrowers are set to feel the pinch as US banks nudge interest charges up in response to the Federal Reserve’s rate rise, threatening to sour more credit card loans and some other types of debt.

Google, Facebook and other online advertising businesses face strict new privacy rules from Brussels on the ways they can track people online.

US companies in the lower rungs of investment grade are facing long-term borrowing costs of almost 5 per cent, a sharp reversal of a six-decade low touched just monthsa ago, as the sell-off in sovereign bonds ripples out in the corporate debt market.

16 December

The Obama administration has added to the growing series of trade battles with China even before Donald Trump takes office, launching a World Trade Organisation challenge to Chinese restrictions on grain imports.

The Australian government is lobbying hard for the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank to include coal among its lending priorities, as the country seeks to defend its lucrative exports.

A one-two punch of a surging US dollar and rising interest rates sent the price of gold tumbling to its lowest level since February on Thursday, hurting the shares of miners and spurring hefty liquidations of exchange traded funds that track the metal.

Yahoo shares dropped 5 per cent on Thursday amid worries that the latest hacking revelations could scuttle its deal with Verizon Communications.