23  January – 27 January

23 January

Accelerated Chinese economic growth reflects the country’s fixation on “short-term” targets, fueled by high levels of government spending, loose monetary policy and rising debt levels, one of the world’s largest rating agencies has said.

Business from the US has driven a long boom in the Philippines’ flagship outsourcing industry, but potential political threats to ambitious growth plans now loom in both countries.

Like many revolutions, the one in retail appears to have come full circle: Alibaba, having spearheaded online shopping in China, is buying physical stores.

Private investment in infrastructure assets soared last year as fierce competition for roads, airports, ports and power plants pushed prices higher.

24 January

The South African Reserve bank has kept its benchmark interest rates on hold as expected in January, but warned that rising inflation is “a cause for concern”.

About 25 African, European and South American countries are set to join the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank this year, reinforcing Beijing’s determination to push a global agenda even as US president Donald Trump rails against the ills of economic globalisation.

Myanmar’s economy looked like it was enjoying a brisk tailwind after progress in democratisation led the US to lift its sanctions last year, but the boost appears to be waning.

The five-page research note on emerging market equities released by JPMorgan was unremarkable in many respects, just another lone voice in the daily cacophony of international markets.

25 January

The head of Libya’s National Oil Corporation has called on the central bank to free up more money for the energy sector to help boost production as he tries to rally investment from international oil companies for the struggling north African country.

Swiss drugmaker Novartis is bumping up its dividend by 2 per cent and lining up a $5bn share buyback after what it calls a “solid performance” in 2016.

Producer prices in Spain rose at their fastest rate in four years in December, as rising energy prices put further upward pressure on inflation in the eurozone.

Turkey’s lira didn’t know if it was coming or going in the wake of yesterday’s interest rates decision where the central bank kept its benchmark rate unchanged but tightened up on its overnight lending rate. The currency has slipped another 1.6 per cent today as markets seem unconvinced of policymakers’ commitment to protect the exchange range after a bracing start to the year.

26 January

Sales of newly-built US homes fell sharply in December, missing Wall Street estimates, on the heels of three-straight months of gains.

Economic growth in the Philippines surged in 2016, making it among the world’s fastest-growing countries last year as strong domestic demand helped it shrug off political risks at home and abroad.

Shares of Mattel – which makes toys like Barbie and Hot Wheels – fell almost 10 per cent in after-hours trading on Wednesday after it said a slowdown in the US toy category and the weight of a strong dollar sent worldwide sales down 8 per cent over the past quarter.

AT&T posted slightly weaker-than-forecast revenues in the fourth quarter, as it battles for share in a cutthroat consumer mobile market.

27 January

Turkey’s currency is more than 1 per cent weaker against the dollar this morning and has now dropped for four consecutive days after the country’s central bank kept its benchmark interest rate unchanged, choosing instead to tweak another lending rate in January.

China’s foreign exchange regulator has spelt out measures to encourage companies to keep their money at home or bring it back from overseas, in the latest steps designed to shore up the renminbi and staunch capital outflows.

Ant Financial, the digital payments arm of Chinese ecommerce group Alibaba, has underlined its global ambitions with the purchase of the US-listed money transfer service MoneyGram International.

Like Macavity, TS Eliot’s mystery cat, growth is proving elusive for Unilever, the world’s fourth-largest consumer goods company by sales. Paul Polman, chief executive, on Thursday warned of “challenging” conditions in the first half of this year after a sluggish 2016, rattling investors in the maker of Dove soap and Hellmann’s spreads, who marked the shares down 5 per cent.