27 February – 03 March

27 February

The Nokia ringtone, a snippet of a Francisco Tárrega waltz, was once so ubiquitous that academics calculated it was heard almost 2bn times a day around the world. That ditty is set to catch the ear again, with a reborn Nokia phone range launched at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on Sunday.

Warren Buffett was persuaded to drop Kraft Heinz’s $143bn takeover approach for Unilever by the corporate financier Michael Klein, making the dealmaker the unlikely executioner of what would have been the second-largest merger in corporate history.

Investors pulled $5.2bn from hedge funds in January and some said they would further reduce their allocation to the sector this year after being disappointed by performance.

Orders for long-lasting US goods climbed in January, but a closely-watched gauge of capital spending by American businesses slipped, according to data released on Monday.

28 February

Industrial output in Japan staged an unexpected reversal in January and contracted for the first time in six months. The preliminary reading from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry showed industrial production shrank 0.8 per cent month-on-month in January, down from growth of 0.7 per cent in December. Economists had expected a gain of 0.4 per cent.cial centres and has been a source of pride, even as it has spurred the highest office rents in the world.

Consumer prices in Italy rose by more than expected last month, as the eurozone’s third largest economy continues to claw its way out of a deflationary year in 2016. Inflation rose 1.6 per cent in February compared to the same period in the previous year, ahead of expectations of a 1.3 per cent rise, according to a flash estimate for harmonised consumer price inflation from Italian stats agency Istat.

When Naeem Khan went into his local automobile dealer in Karachi to replace his five-year-old taxi with a rickshaw, he was not expecting to leave with a brand new air-conditioned car instead. But after getting a financing package that was cheaper than he expected, Mr Khan became one of an increasing number of Pakistanis who have recently bought vehicles they previously only dreamt of owning. The national surge in sales has prompted three global carmakers to commit in the past few months to starting production in Pakistan, potentially doubling the number of foreign carmakers in the country.

Few consumers had even heard of Huawei in 2011, the year in which its board decided to focus on breaking into the smartphone market in a big way. The company’s portfolio of cheap, low-tech devices had led many to mark the group down as just another “me-too” Chinese white-label manufacturer. But six years on, Huawei has achieved its ambition. As well as now being one of the world’s leading suppliers of telecoms equipment, ranking alongside Sweden’s Ericsson, it has also become the third-biggest vendor of smartphones by market share, according to research company Gartner.

01 March

British manufacturing growth was slower than expected in February, according to a closely watched index, but nonetheless marked a seventh consecutive month of expansion.

China’s economy has performed strongly this year, official and private indicators showed on Wednesday, giving policymakers room to shift their attention to financial bubbles and rising debt after years of pump-priming.

Alibaba provoked an Amazon-style ripple of interest from investors when it reported its quarterly numbers: revenues at AliCloud, its eight-year-old cloud services business, rose 115 per cent year on year to $254m.

Burberry shares jumped on Tuesday after Albert Frère’s Groupe Bruxelles Lambert disclosed a 3 per cent stake in the luxury British retailer known for its trench coats.

02 March

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has crowed at the victory of “hard work over Harvard”, after the government said its economy grew robustly in the latest quarter in defiance of economists’ predictions of a sharp slowdown.

Mario Draghi will get a clear message from European Central Bank hawks next week: drop the doom and gloom. The ECB president who once told markets he would do “whatever it takes” to save the euro has been careful to reassure investors that he is ready to act again if the region’s economic recovery veers off track.

McDonald’s promised to deliver sharply higher operating margins starting from 2019, as the world’s largest fast-food company outlined plans to better compete with rivals, particularly in the US, where it said it has lost 500m transactions since 2012.

Line, the New York-listed Japanese messaging app, is working with Sony and South Korea’s LG Electronics to launch an Asian version of an intelligent voice assistant to rival Amazon’s Alexa.

03 March

Core inflation has returned to Japan for the first time since 2015, with consumer prices excluding fresh food rising 0.1 per cent in January over the same month a year earlier.

While equity market euphoria at the prospect of President Donald Trump’s spendthrift, deregulatory agenda remains undimmed, bond investors are sending a very different message.

Wells Fargo is working to stave off an investor rebellion as top institutional shareholders put pressure on the US bank for further boardroom changes in the wake of the sham accounts scandal.

Weak sterling and strong sales growth in China helped boost Jimmy Choo’s full-year revenues by 14.5 per cent, even as increased financial expenses pushed down pre-tax profits by a quarter.