16  January – 20 January

16 January

Toyota has invested in 15 technology start-ups worldwide through a $310m fund it launched 14 months ago, marking a break from its typically conservative investment stance in an attempt to ride the new wave of connected vehicles and robotics.

Seldom have such small chips carried such a heavy load. China’s fledgling semiconductor industry, after a messy birth, now finds itself in the crosshairs of conflicting political goals in Beijing and Washington.

A Donald Trump presidency and better growth in China are set to boost the global economy this year and next, although any move by the incoming US president to deliver on his protectionist campaign rhetoric would put that brighter outlook at risk, the International Monetary Fund said on Monday.

The wide, freshly tarmacked roads leading to Gandhinagar, the purpose-built state capital of Gujarat, are adorned with 10-foot posters bearing the figure of Narendra Modi.

17 January

Responsive leadership — the theme of this year’s World Economic Forum in Davos — is absolutely crucial for corporate success. Similarly economies also need to be able to respond to a changing world.

The parent company of the Daily Mail has pulled out of talks to create a new joint advertising sales operation for the struggling UK national newspaper industry, dealing a major blow to Fleet Street’s efforts to combat structural decline.

Saudi Arabia will “within weeks” start issuing tenders for a big solar and wind power programme that envisages investment worth $30bn-$50bn by 2030, the country’s oil minister said on Monday.

A senior member of Donald Trump’s team insisted that the president-elect was committed to globalisation, open trade and Nato, despite recent comments that unsettled America’s allies.

18 January

Ever since the global financial crisis, as central banks have contorted balance sheets in ever more elaborate ways to push cash into sputtering economies, the cry has gone out from economists for fiscal stimulus to do its part. Traditionally conservative institutions — the International Monetary Fund, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the European Commission — at times joined in the clamour for higher spending and lower taxes.

India’s central bank and its new governor are facing criticism over their role in the recall of 86 per cent of the country’s currency, with a growing chorus casting doubt over the independence and competence of one of the country’s most important institutions.

General Motors and Hyundai announced large investments in the US on Tuesday as carmakers scrambled to tout their plans for spending and job creation ahead of Donald Trump’s inauguration on Friday.

Cairn Energy is to start its third drilling programme in Senegal, kicking off what the UK independent oil and gas explorer expects to be an “eventful” 12 months.

19 January

The Bank for International Settlements, which provides advice to the world’s central banks, has been accused of putting pressure on research staff to back its controversial warnings about the dangers of historically low interest rates.

Look out of the window as you fly into Singapore and hundreds of ships will be visible below. Situated near the Malacca Straits, this comes as no surprise and vividly illustrates the importance of shipping — and by extension trade — to Asia.

Tim Martin, chairman of the JD Wetherspoon pub chain, is a man of many talents: builder, sales rep, trained barrister, and Brexit campaigner. To this list may now be added: meteorologist. Because on Wednesday, while reporting a 3 per cent rise in like-for-like sales, he showed a keen appreciation of the difference between weather forecasting and economic forecasting — alongside a staunch defence of BBC weather presenter and hurricane pooh-pooher Michael Fish.

Shares in Toshiba staged their biggest one-day nosedive in more than four decades on Thursday as concerns over huge writedowns on the company’s nuclear business prompted fears of a full-blown crisis at Japan’s industrial conglomerate.

20 January

Annual UK retail sales growth unexpectedly slumped in December, suffering the worst monthly decline in spending in more than five and a half years.

Indonesia’s anti-graft agency has placed two people under investigation for suspected corruption in the purchase of aircraft and engines from Airbus and Rolls-Royce, in the widening fallout from the UK’s four-year investigation into the blue-chip jet turbine maker.

IBM topped estimates for revenues and earnings in the fourth quarter but its sales drop extended to a 19th straight quarter.

China’s economy avoided a hard landing in 2016 thanks to robust monetary and fiscal stimulus, but policymakers are now bracing for headwinds as a possible trade war looms under the US presidency of Donald Trump.