07 August – 11 August

07 August

So is Donald Trump really about to trigger that trade war with China? That was certainly the fear emanating from Washington last week when news emerged that the White House was engaged in serious discussions over using another long-dormant trade tool — Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 — to retaliate against China over its controversial intellectual property policies.

The founder of Otkritie, Russia’s largest privately held financial group, is returning to lead the company after growing concerns about its performance saw it lose more than Rbs100bn ($1.7bn) in deposits in a month.

Tencent is developing a credit scoring system as it ramps up its battle with rival Alibaba for a share of China’s $5.5tn mobile payments market.

Oil began the week in the red, but one analyst cautions that prices could rebound by the end of the week when attention shifts away from a two-day meeting of Opec and non-Opec members in Abu Dhabi.

08 August

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis president James Bullard has argued for leaving interest rates unchanged , saying that even if the unemployment rate continues to fall the effects on inflation are “likely to be small”.

Nissan and NEC have agreed to sell their rechargeable electric battery joint venture to a Chinese private equity firm, providing both companies with an exit from an industry that, although popular because of rising demand for electric vehicles, is capital-intensive.

British American Tobacco lit up US capital markets on Tuesday. The cigarette manufacturer was preparing to borrow at least $15bn from investors in a US dollar-denominated corporate bond, according to three people involved in the sale.

Equity investors seeking to capitalise on India’s surging economic growth have a new asset class to consider as the country’s fast-expanding life insurers hit the stock market.

09 August

The Hong Kong dollar jumped more than a cent against its US counterpart in minutes on Wednesday after the city’s de facto central bank fired a warning shot across the bows of those betting on rapid further weakening.

Walt Disney will launch a standalone ESPN sports streaming subscription next year and a separate video service for its films in 2019, neither of which will require a pay-television subscription.

Last week, the 90th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Liberation Army dominated coverage on state-controlled media. It was celebrated in the traditional fashion with parades and displays of the latest — and increasingly Chinese-sourced — armaments.

British American Tobacco tapped investors for $17.25bn on Tuesday in the second largest corporate bond deal of the year, as low borrowing costs and a fierce appetite for debt help persuade companies to lever up.

10 August

Economic growth in the UK appears to be losing a little momentum, weighed down by a sluggish performance in the services sector, according to estimates from the National Institute of Economic and Social Research.

The West Midlands rail franchise has been awarded to a joint venture between East Japan Railway Company, Abellio and Mitsui.

Fast-growing revenues are slowing and margins are slipping at Zalando, the German online fashion retailer.

The Swiss franc led a rally among haven assets across global markets on Wednesday as investors retreated from equities in the wake of escalating rhetoric between North Korea and the US.

11 August

US consumer price growth remained soft in July, ticking slightly higher while missing analysts’ forecasts and underscoring concerns about inflation that has persistently lagged the Federal Reserve’s target.

Top-line growth and upbeat comments on current quarter trading from JC Penney did little to assuage investor jitters over shrinking margins in the beleaguered retail sector.

Zinc has been the darling over the base metals markets over the past year. It has risen 30 per cent and is set to test $3,000 a tonne, according to Evy Hambro, Blackrock’s influential mining investor.

Australian gold miners were among the best performing stocks on the S&P/ASX 200 on Friday as the price of the yellow metal hovered at a nine-week high amid tensions between the United States and North Korea.