14 August – 18 August

14 August

Official gauges of retail sales, industrial production and fixed asset investment in China started the third quarter on a downbeat note, with all three decelerating more than expected in July after outperforming in June.

Share-price swings at Snap continued into another week on Monday after restrictions on employee stock sales were lifted, triggering a sell-off.

The UK’s largest fund supermarket Hargreaves Lansdown confirmed a 21 per cent boost to pre-tax profits amid continued popularity among retail investors.

Investors increased bets that the US dollar will decline further after its worst seven-month start to a year in three decades with disappointing inflation figures expected to keep a lid on the pace of Federal Reserve rate increases.

15 August

Germany’s economic growth slowed slightly in the second quarter of the year but still showed its best year-on-year rate since 2014 as the country heads for elections next month.

Supermarket group J Sainsbury has put on hold talks over a potential £130m takeover of convenience store wholesaler Nisa until UK competition regulators rule on a similar deal between Tesco and Booker.

McDonald’s has struck a deal to place restaurants in Evergrande’s residential complexes in China.

The currency markets have shown little if any response to the news that the UK will seek a transitional arrangement of some kind to cover customs after the country leaves the EU.

16 August

China has reclaimed its position as America’s biggest creditor, displacing Japan as the top holder of US Treasuries according to fresh data from the US government.

Amazon sealed the year’s fourth-largest corporate bond sale on Tuesday as the technology and online retail group locked in $16bn to fund its takeover of premium grocer Whole Foods.*

Activist investor Elliott has revealed it holds a 5 per cent stake in BHP Billiton PLC, the mining group it has heavily criticised for its decision to enter the fertiliser market and bump up spending on its US oil business.

Next was a faller on Tuesday after Berenberg predicted a “Kodak moment” for the retailer. “We believe Next is burdened by its overspaced store estate, which restricts its ability to invest in areas that matter most to the consumer — product and free home delivery, leading to market share erosion,” said Berenberg. “While it was quick to recognise the online opportunity, it has failed to fully adapt its business model, instead focusing on short-term cash flow and profitability.”

17 August

The number of Americans filing for first-time jobless benefits fell last week to the lowest level since February, underscoring the tightening of the American labour market.

Cisco Systems shares slid in extended trading after the networks equipment maker forecast revenues would drop in its current quarter — the eighth straight quarterly drop.

For companies reliant on the US consumer, taking a position on anything said or done by the present incumbent of the White House risks exposing them to fury online — from both sides.

The value of foreign mergers and acquisitions by Chinese companies has almost halved this year, as Beijing’s restrictions on capital outflows appear to hold back overseas dealmaking.

18 August

The pace of growth in Taiwan’s economy slowed in the second quarter, but it still came in slightly ahead of expectations as improved production and export figures provided a lift.

Kingfisher has reported a slide in second-quarter revenues after it was hit by disruption from a restructuring and as sales at its B&Q chain fell sharply due to a drop in demand for seasonal products, such as garden furniture.

Walmart’s digital investments continued to pay off in its latest quarter, lifting sales for the world’s largest retailer as it battles with Amazon for dominance of shopping.
European stocks are lower on Friday, with the Stoxx 600 falling 0.8 per cent, as a global flight from riskier assets on the back of political turmoil in the US rumbles on. The continent’s banking stocks are softer as bond yields fall and the travel and leisure sector sub-index dips 1.3 per cent following terrorist incidents in Spain.