02 April – 06 April

02 April

Ginseng fetches more in China when it is sold in boxes emblazoned with the stars and stripes of the American flag. That makes the prized medicinal root a fitting symbol for a trade skirmish that could disproportionately impact farming communities in the US heartland.

Asia Pacific stocks started the quarter in positive territory on Monday even as readings for the Japanese and Chinese manufacturing sectors came in short of estimates.

Tesla shares were back on the ropes on Monday, dropping more than 6 per cent within minutes of the opening bell as investors continue to digest the slate of negative headlines around the electric car company.

In a driverless world, carmakers are still clutching for the steering wheel. The advent of self-driving vehicles will force manufacturers to make a choice: do they want control of their vehicles as they become service providers to consumers directly or are they happy to become a supplier to tomorrow’s robo-taxi operators?

03 April

Britain’s manufacturing sector maintained its recent brisk activity levels in March with a closely watched survey showing higher output offset by a slowing rate of growth in new orders.

Private equity groups are spending the least amount of time on the road raising money as yield-starved investors desperately seek a place to park their cash, new figures showed.

Fintech changed how the Chinese make payments, transact business, buy insurance, lend money, and invest capital. It also spawned a cohort of start-ups that have listed on international stock exchanges, providing high-growth investment opportunities. But there are also risks.

Two top Wall Street banks are facing pressure from shareholders to say more about their lobbying of public officials, amid persistent concern over “dark money” spending in the nation’s capital.

04 April

Metal prices and mining shares fell on Wednesday after China threatened retaliatory tariffs against the US, deepening a trade dispute between the world’s two largest economies.

After the two economies traded tit-for-tat tariff plans, US meat producers were trudging higher on a fall in the price of soyabeans, one of the grains used to fatten up livestock destined for slaughter (China has targeted US exports of the crop for potential retaliatory tariffs.)

Meituan-Dianping has snapped up China’s top bike-sharing company in a deal that brings together two of the country’s biggest start-ups, both of which are backed by technology group Tencent.

Wall Street is sitting higher at midday as markets stage a gradual recovery from Monday’s 2-plus per cent drop. After some mid-morning wobbles, the S&P 500 was up 0.3 per cent, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.5 per cent and the Nasdaq Composite gained 0.2 per cent.

05 April

Retail sales in the euro area remained lacklustre in February, just edging up from January after two months of decline. Month-on-month, retail sales climbed 0.1 per cent, driven by higher sales of vehicle fuel and food. That followed a worse than previously thought performance in January, when sales dropped 0.3 per cent on the month, and a 1 per cent decline in the final month of 2017.

Tokyo has opted for a low-key response to Donald Trump’s tariffs on steel because Japanese mills believe US rivals cannot make the high-grade metals they export.

Facebook dramatically increased its estimate of the number of users whose data may have been obtained by Cambridge Analytica, as Mark Zuckerberg proclaimed that he was the right person to lead the social network through the crisis.

Hang on tight. US equities are finally getting some traction heading into lunch time in New York, recouping some of the earlier losses and even seeing the Nasdaq Composite reach briefly into the black as markets digest the latest in the US-China trade tiff.

06 April

Beijing signalled it was willing to escalate its fight with Donald Trump over his plan for anti-China tariffs on Thursday by launching a legal challenge against Washington’s newly proposed duties on more than 1,300 Chinese products.

Shares in UK cyber security group Sophos rose almost 16 per cent on Thursday after the company said billings for the year to March would come in at the top end of its guidance.

AQR Capital Management is launching its first quantitative bond fund, highlighting how asset managers are scrambling to develop “systematic” strategies for the more idiosyncratic fixed income market.

Trade war? What trade war? US stocks were on track for their first three-day winning streak in over a month as investors seemed to put aside concerns about trade relations between the US and China.