17 July – 21 July

17 July

Asia Pacific markets were mixed on Monday as Chinese stocks took a sharp fall ahead of the country’s second quarter gross domestic product data and the dollar languished at a 10-month low following Friday’s US inflation and retail sales figures.

Insurance should be a byword for calm amid a crisis. The industry prides itself on its ability to cope with the worst of times.

The boom in borrowing for UK university accommodation is helping to spearhead the return of a niche form of credit insurance that fell out of favour after many of the companies providing it blew up during the financial crisis.

The issue of Germany’s crumbling infrastructure has taken centre stage in campaigning for September’s election after Martin Schulz, leader of the Social Democrats, vowed to pour billions into schools, roads and fast broadband.

18 July

Greek bonds have rallied to post-crisis highs this week as the country eyes the prospect of a return to the debt markets for the first time in three years.

A transition from fossil fuels to mitigate the impacts of climate change will require large amounts of metals and rare earth elements that could create environmental challenges, the World Bank has warned.

Almost $1.3bn has been raised so far this year by start-up technology companies via “initial coin offerings”, the blockchain community’s version of crowdfunding, according to a new report from Autonomous, the financial research provider.

Ecuador has raised oil production above its Opec target due to the economic situation in the country, risking a schism with the cartel and other big producers as their output cuts struggle to prop up the crude price.

19 July

It’s the morning after a long, dark session for the dollar and the world’s reserve currency is finding support. The sharp slide in the dollar looks to have taken it too far, at least ahead of Thursday’s brace of monetary policy meetings — at the Bank of Japan and the European Central Bank — which could spark further volatility.

Asia Pacific markets were broadly improving on Wednesday as Australian equities rallied on news of favourable financial rules.

Azerbaijan’s biggest bank has begun preparations to be sold to private investors next year after completing a $3.3bn debt restructuring, according to its chairman.

Netflix executives are hitting bonus targets with almost uncanny accuracy, raising questions among investors and tax experts over whether they are a fait accompli.

20 July

Japan’s exports and imports rose more quickly than expected in June as the country scrambled out of a trade deficit from the previous month.

As leading carmakers aim to electrify their models and Tesla’s Model 3 rolls off the production line, investors are looking to increase their exposure to copper, betting that the advent of battery-powered vehicles will boost prices and demand for the metal.

Shares in British companies that charge customers high fees to pay by debit and credit card fell after the government said that such charges would be made illegal from next year.

Mothercare made further progress with its turnround plan in the UK during the first quarter of the new financial year, but the baby and child retailer had to rely on the weak pound to protect it from falling a sharp drop in overseas sales.

21 July

Inflation forecasts in the eurozone have been cut in a survey of private sector economists carried out by the European Central Bank, underscoring policymakers’ difficulties in stoking prices pressures even as the recovery takes grip.

Asia Pacific equities fell on Friday as the US dollar hovered at 11-month lows and the euro held at a two-year high achieved on Thursday as the market digested comments from the European Central Bank’s president.

Philip Morris International’s cigarette sales in Japan have fallen by a quarter in a year as smokers switched to “heat not burn” sticks, making it one of the starkest examples of the shift to supposedly safer tobacco products.

Sales growth at French luxury house Hermès slowed in the three months ending in June but the group said on Friday that it expected its first-half operating profitability to be near the peak it achieved in the first half of last year.