13 March – 17 March

13 March

Officials from Europe and other leading economies are mounting a campaign to draw Donald Trump and his administration towards the mainstream on trade and currency policy ahead of international economic talks in Germany this week.

If last year was brutal for Brazilian architect Viviane Mendes, 2017 is looking even more precarious.  With Brazil suffering its worst recession in history, her business that specialises in designing supermarkets to serve the country’s once growing new middle classes is on the verge of collapse.

Shares in Mobileye, the Israeli maker of autonomous driving technology, surged in pre-market trading on Monday after a media report that Intel is due to buy it for at least $15bn.

Wood Group, the Aberdeen-based oilfield services company, has launched a £2.2bn takeover of its troubled rival Amec Foster Wheeler. The offer, of 0.75 new Wood Group shares for each existing Amec Foster Wheeler share, has been recommended by Amec’s board.

14 March

Marissa Mayer, Yahoo’s chief executive, stands to receive $23m in severance benefits if her employment is terminated after Verizon’s deal to buy Yahoo closes. In a filing on Monday, Yahoo said Ms Mayer would receive the “golden parachute” if her employment was terminated “without cause” following the $4.5bn acquisition by Verizon planned to close in the second quarter.

Indian generic drug-maker, Sun Pharma, has been notified by the US Food and Drug Administration that it can resume exporting drugs to US from its plant at Mohali, which it acquired as part of its 2015 purchase of troubled Ranbaxy.

Macquarie, the Australian infrastructure bank, has sold its stake in Thames Water to two other infrastructure funds in the latest sign of interest in steady income-paying British water companies from overseas institutional investors.

During the financial crisis I found that mugging up on economic history, particularly from emerging markets, was often more helpful than talking to conventional policymakers hooked on their fair-weather economic models. The rise of economic nationalism and the threat to globalisation means I find myself using emerging market parallels again. I cannot help wondering if investing in western markets may become more like investing in emerging markets.

15 March

Ahead of the Fed’s rate decision, it was revealed that US consumer price inflation hit 2.7 per cent in February. But central banks care more about core inflation — it’s steadier and strips out volatile stuff like energy prices — and that measure is 2.2 per cent.

Retail sales in Italy unexpectedly fell in January compared to the same period a year ago. Sales in Italy’s retail sector were up 1.4 per cent in January compared to December on a seasonally adjusted basis, Italian stats agency Istat said – higher than analyst expectations of a 0.2 per cent rise.

Google and Facebook will extend their dominance of digital advertising this year to control 60 per cent of the growing market, according to a new forecast from eMarketer.

Hong Kong flag carrier Cathay Pacific’s shares fell as much as 6.9 per cent after the lunch break on Wednesday as the airline reported its first annual loss since 2008.

16 March

The Bank of Japan kept monetary policy on hold and offered no hint of future rate rises as it battles to reach an inflation objective of 2 per cent. Short-term interest rates will stay at minus 0.1 per cent, ten-year bond yields will be capped near zero, and asset purchases remain at about ¥80trn a year as the BoJ pursues one of the world’s most aggressive monetary policies.

China’s central bank has followed the Federal Reserve by raising domestic money market rates in a move that shows how its efforts to curb capital outflows could produce tighter conditions in its own economy.

GoPro on Wednesday outlined a plan to shave expenses by reducing its headcount and cutting other costs, sending its shares rallying by more than 10 per cent in extended trading.

Spotify is closing in on licensing deals with the world’s largest record labels, hoping to clear a hurdle in the streaming music company’s path towards an initial public offering after months of tough negotiations.

17 March

If there were the slightest chance of Donald Trump’s “skinny budget” seeing the light of day, Washington would change dramatically. American diplomacy would be facing evisceration. The US foreign aid budget would shrivel and whole areas of federal regulation would cease to exist. Meanwhile, dozens of programmes for schools, worker training, legal services and public broadcasting would vanish to make room for a $52bn jump in the Pentagon’s military budget. Almost none of this, barring some of the defence boost, is likely to pass Congress.

Iceland lifted its remaining capital controls this week in a return to financial normality nine years after its biggest banks collapsed during the global financial crisis.

Swatch plans to develop its own operating system as the Swiss watchmaker seeks to combine smart technology with the country’s expertise in making timepieces and miniaturisation, chief executive Nick Hayek has said.

Generali has promised faster delivery of its planned €200m of cost savings as Italy’s largest insurer reported solid operating profits for the full year and said it would raise its dividend.