06 March – 10 March

06 March

A proposal for a new levy on imports included in a Republican tax reform plan has set off a lobbying war in the US business community and raised fears of looming trade skirmishes. But economists have also begun focusing on another potentially worrying aspect: what it means for the global economy.

China’s banking system has surpassed that of the eurozone to become the world’s largest by assets, a sign both of the country’s increased influence in world finance and its reliance on debt to drive growth since the global financial crisis.

Peugeot owner PSA has announced a €2.2bn agreement to buy General Motors’ lossmaking Opel division in a deal that will see GM depart Europe after nearly a century of automaking in the region and reshape the continent’s car industry.

IBM is taking its first step towards commercialising quantum computing, making it the first big tech company to try to reap a dividend from what could one day be a revolutionary new form of computing.

07 March

UK growth this year has been given the biggest upward revision among all the major countries surveyed by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, which released its latest economic forecasts earlier today.

The value of retail sales, excluding food, fell on an annual basis for the first time since 2011 in the three months to the end of February, in another indication that Britain’s consumer spending boom may be losing steam as prices rise.

Tikehau Capital, the European asset manager, is on the hunt for “opportunistic” acquisitions now that it has listed on Euronext Paris through a reverse merger, its founders told the Financial Times as its shares were due to start trading on Tuesday.

Two former Tesla executives are aiming to set up Europe’s first big battery factory in an attempt to rival Asian manufacturers that dominate the industry as the fight to power electric cars heats up.

08 March

Britain’s robust economic growth is showing its first signs of a slowdown at the start of the year, according to a major rating agency. As the UK chancellor prepares significantly upgrade Britain’s economic forecasts at today’s Budget, S&P Global Ratings has warned that consumer-driven growth that powered expansion in 2016 is already slowing down.

Brazil’s economy shrank 3.6 per cent last year as the country endured its worst recession on record, underlining the challenge facing the government of President Michel Temer.

Saudi Arabia’s energy minister told executives in Houston that its participation in an international agreement to cut crude output was reinvigorating rivals in the US shale patch, a development that could undermine efforts to stabilise a weak oil market.

Nintendo’s stock has risen 9.3 per cent since the debut of its new console, suggesting early sales figures have helped restore some of the confidence investors lost when the Japanese games company first revealed the console’s price.

09 March

Oil prices have dropped amid renewed concerns of a supply glut, with West Texas Intermediate, the US benchmark, dropping below $50 for the first time since last year. The sudden price slide hammered energy shares and the currencies of major oil exporters.

Ireland’s economic growth rate remained surprisingly upbeat in the fourth quarter of 2016, as the country retained its spot as the fastest-growing economy in the EU. The economy expanded by 2.5 per cent in the quarter, a slowdown from the third quarter’s 4 per cent growth rate but still more than twice as fast as the 1 per cent predicted by economists.

Valued at $3bn in a funding round last year, Chinese healthcare app Ping An Good Doctor rode a wave of investment flooding the country’s mobile medical sector. But investors are beginning to lose confidence in the ability of these companies to turn a profit.

Investors are certainly not happy with Domino’s Pizza Group this morning. Despite the company posting a 14 per cent rise in revenues last year (from 89m pizzas, 2.6m of which were of the Hawaiian variety) shares have plunged more than 12 per cent, making the UK-listed franchise the worst performer in the FTSE All Share index this morning.

10 March

Exports from the Phlippines grew at their fastest clip in three years in January as shipments of electronics took off. Exports from the Philippines jumped 22.5 per cent year on year to $5.1bn in January, coming in above a median forecast from economists compiled by Bloomberg of 10.5 per cent growth.

Airbnb, the room-sharing group, has raised $1bn to provide fresh funds for its expansion into new areas such as travel tours and luxury rentals. The fundraising, which values the group at about $30bn, will further delay any prospect of an initial public offering by one of Silicon Valley’s most successful start-ups.

Johnson & Johnson plans to close a Scottish surgical suture factory with the loss of about 400 jobs as part of a global restructuring of its medical devices unit.  The US healthcare company said on Thursday it had launched consultation with local works councils about the closure of the Ethicon site at Livingston in Scotland’s Central Belt.

The US created another 235,000 jobs in February, trouncing Wall Street forecasts and cementing expectations for a third increase in short-term interest rates next week.