30  January – 03 February

30 January

The Japanese yen climbed by almost 1 per cent against the US dollar on Monday amid a global flight for safety. The haven currency was up by 0.94 per cent in mid-morning trading in New York to 114 yen per buck. The Swiss franc, which had been down by as much as 0.5 per cent earlier in the day, shed its losses and was up by 0.1 per cent to 0.999 francs per dollar.

Japan should make greater use of fiscal stimulus to boost the economy, one of the masterminds of Abenomics has said, highlighting a shift in thinking among prime minister Shinzo Abe’s top advisers on the economy.

BP is to study the potentially disruptive impact of 3D printing on oil markets if the rise of small-scale digital manufacturing reduces the need to ship goods around the world.

Microsoft is in the market with a new corporate bond, just six months after it sold $20bn of debt to fund its acquisition of LinkedIn.

31 January

Shares in Rite Aid tumbled on Monday on increasing doubts about whether regulators will approve Walgreens Boots Alliance’s proposed takeover of its smaller rival.

At this month’s World Economic Forum in Davos, Sunil Bharti Mittal — chairman of Bharti Airtel, India’s largest mobile operator by sales — reflected on the possibility of a merger between his two biggest competitors, Vodafone India and Idea Cellular.

India’s economy is expected to grow 6.75-7.5 per cent in the coming year as it recovers from the disruption caused by the ban on most banknotes, a senior government adviser said on Tuesday.

Spanish consumer prices rose at their fastest rate in more than four years in January, as higher energy prices drove the inflation rate to 3 per cent for the first time since December 2012.

01 February

Narendra Modi’s government said it would cut taxes for poorer Indians and small companies and invest nearly $60bn in infrastructure, as it seeks to revive demand and widen the tax net after the shock of November’s cash ban.

US stock-index futures were in the black on Wednesday on the heels of the longest losing streak since November for the S&P 500, with investors awaiting a Federal Reserve statement and a batch of economic data.

Mercedes-Benz plans to run a network of self-driving cars that can be booked through Uber’s app, in the latest step in the evolution of autonomous technology in the auto sector.

Royal Dutch Shell’s trading division will continue to market the crude oil and gas produced by the UK North Sea assets it sold on Tuesday, retaining access to crucial barrels in one of the world’s most influential energy markets.

02 February

Activity in the UK’s construction sector grew slower than expected in January, according to a closely-watched business survey of the sector. The Markit/CIPS survey of UK construction firms hit 52.2 last month, down from expectations of 53.8 and ending a four-month run of rising PMIs after December’s figure hit 54.2. Construction accounts for around 8 per cent of UK GDP, with any PMI number above 50 indicating growth in the sector.

In 1971, European finance ministers told John Connally, then US Treasury secretary, that American monetary policy was creating problems for Europe because it was exporting inflation. Connally replied: “The dollar is our currency, but it’s your problem.”

The global resurgence of the iPhone combined with the recall of the Galaxy Note 7 pushed Apple ahead of rival Samsung in smartphone sales for the fourth quarter, researchers say, even as the US group struggles to fend off domestic rivals in China.

Facebook revenue and earnings soared in the fourth quarter despite concerns sales could slow as it hits the limit on how many advertisements it puts in the newsfeed. The world’s largest social network reported non-gaap earnings of $1.41, compared with the average analyst estimate of $1.31 per share. Net income was $3.5bn in the three months until December and $10.2bn for the full year 2016.

03 February

The Trump administration is putting a bilateral trade deal with Japan high on its economic agenda with a visit to the US next week by Shinzo Abe, the Japanese prime minister, set to include discussions about how best to pursue such a pact.

Russia’s central bank left key interest rates at 10 per cent, saying that the country was on track to meet a target of lowering inflation to 4 per cent by the end of 2017.

Reckitt Benckiser, the UK-based maker of Nurofen painkillers and Durex condoms, is in advanced talks to acquire Mead Johnson in a deal that could value the US baby milk group at about $16.7bn.

In their latest earnings, Apple and Facebook blew past expectations, as digital advertising continued its headlong growth and their mobile digital ecosystems gathered strength. Along with Google, Amazon and Microsoft, their stock prices are at or near all-time highs.