18 December – 22 December

18 December

France’s Thales has agreed to buy struggling digital company Gemalto in a deal worth close to €4.8bn.

Chinese internet giants Tencent and JD.com have agreed to invest $863m into discount online retailer Vipshop.

Tomas Danek did not plan to buy a flat for another couple of years. But as the 31-year-old network engineer watched Prague’s property prices surging higher and higher, he felt he had to take the plunge.

Asia Pacific equities were mostly higher on Monday, buoyed by a strong lead from Wall Street on Friday.

19 December

Fairfax NZ and NZME, New Zealand’s largest newspaper groups, have failed to overturn a decision by the country’s competition watchdog to block their proposed merger on the grounds of media diversity.

UK companies that fail to comply with their duties on reporting gender pay gaps face “unlimited” fines and convictions, according to the regulator responsible for enforcing them.

Consumer prices have risen fastest for the poorest families in Britain over the past decade, according to an experimental measure of inflation published by the Office for National Statistics on Tuesday.

One of the dominant stock market narratives of 2017 has been the idea that an unstoppable Amazon will destroy traditional retailers and shopping mall owners.

20 December

The US Food and Drug Administration has approved the first ever gene therapy, heralding the advent of a new type of medicine that tackles disease by inserting DNA directly into the body.

The publishing catalogue of Stiff Records, the pioneering UK independent label behind acts including Elvis Costello and Madness, has been acquired by Universal Music, the world’s largest music company.

Thailand’s central bank kept its key interest rate unchanged on Thursday in line with expectations as it upped its forecast for economic growth for 2017 thanks to improved exports and tourism.

Asia Pacific equities put in a mixed performance on Wednesday following falls on Wall Street amid a global bonds sell-off.

21 December

Shares in Chipotle Mexican Grill took a knock on Wednesday after public health officials said they are investigating one of the burrito chain’s restaurants in Los Angeles following multiple reports of customers falling ill after eating there.

There is a limit to how big a role US shale can play in the global oil market, according to the chief executive of BP, who said traditional producers such as Saudi Arabia would continue to exert more influence over crude prices.

The Canadian dollar rallied on Thursday after data on inflation and retail sales exceeded economists’ expectations.

US Treasuries remained under pressure on Wednesday with the sell-off briefly driving the yield on the 10-year note back above the 2.5 per cent mark for the first time since March.

22 December

Australian miners were on track for their best close in nearly five years on Friday as positive commodity market sentiment continued to buoy the market.

The rise of rental over ownership has had subtler effects in retail than in some industries, but can be seen in evolving sales strategies and even how retailers and developers lay out shops and new malls.

Britain’s economic growth was unrevised at 0.4 per cent quarter-on-quarter for the third quarter of 2017, according to the final estimate of national income. However growth at the end of the previous year was revised up, leading to an increase of 0.1 percentage points for 2016 as a whole.

US home goods retailer Bed, Bath & Beyond offered little holiday cheers for investors on Thursday. The company, best known for selling an array of household products, saw its shares slide more than 12 per cent after third-quarter profits more than halved amid a sharp ramp up in discounting and promotional activities.