09 April – 13 April

09 April

Russian stocks suffered their worst session in four years and the country’s bonds and currency plunged as the impact of new US sanctions against its economy and fears over increased conflict in Syria ravaged markets.

The US-China trade dispute continued to reverberate around international agricultural markets, with the soyabean meal price in Dalian rising to a 16 month high as investors and processors scrambled to to secure the key material for livestock feed.

Uber has joined the bike-sharing craze with the acquisition of New York-based Jump Bikes, as the Chinese surge in two-wheeled rentals threatens to disrupt parts of the car-hailing market in North America and Europe where the company is most entrenched.

A leading campaigner for women in academia has demanded that institutions collaborate to make their salary structures fairer after analysis of the gender pay gap at England’s top universities revealed vast variations.

10 April

Venezuela stopped paying bondholders in September, according to central bank data, contradicting statements by President Nicolás Maduro that the country would continue to honour its debts while negotiating a resettlement with its creditors.

Share on Facebook (opens new window) Share on LinkedIn (opens new window) Mail Save Save to myFT Katie Martin APRIL 10, 2018 Print this page Some slightly soft inflation readings from the Nordics to start the European day. In Norway, prices rose by 0.3 per cent in March, down from the 0.9 per cent gain in February and shy of the 0.5 per cent estimate logged in a Reuters poll of economists. The year-on-year rate was 2.2 per cent, in line with the previous month and again, a little behind forecasts.

Payments company Verifone Systems on Monday said it had agreed to be taken private by an investor group led by buyout group Francisco Partners in a $3.4bn deal that includes debt.

French insurer Axa is restructuring its Swiss business in the face of low interest rates and tougher regulation in the country. The Swiss unit, Axa said, will be revamped so it can hold less capital and adopt a riskier investment strategy that would enable it to offer clients better deals.

11 April

When Prospa launched in Australia in 2011, the online lender to small companies had an intimidating task before it: taking business from the country’s biggest banks. Small companies in search of working capital had long relied on traditional lenders, before the global financial crisis curtailed banks’ appetite for risk.

China is an emerging superpower. The US is the incumbent. The potential for destructive clashes between the two giants seems potentially unbounded. Yet the two are also intimately intertwined. If they fail to maintain reasonably co-operative relationships they have the capacity to wreak havoc not only upon each other, but upon the entire world.

Brent crude hit its highest levels in over three years as geopolitical concerns in the Middle East — coupled with easing US-China trade tension, a weaker dollar and a small decline in forecasts for US oil production — put the oil bulls firmly back in the driver’s seat on Tuesday.

Beijing has sped up the pace of ownership reforms for China’s banking, securities, futures, asset management and insurance sectors, shifting the timeline for implementation from years to just months after President Xi Jinping this week pledged further opening up of China’s economy to foreign investment.

12 April

British investors in emerging market funds are feeling the effects of rising diplomatic tension between Russia and the West and could be more exposed than they realise through the presence of Russian stocks in mainstream funds.

The Bank of Korea held its benchmark interest rate steady on Thursday, in line with economists’ expectations.  South Korea’s central bank kept its benchmark seven-day repurchase rate at 1.5 per cent, as forecast by economists polled by Reuters.

Tesco, the UK’s largest grocer, has staged a comeback with a sharp rise in annual profits that defied the wider gloom on the high street, three years after an accounting scandal that plunged the respected British company into the worst crisis in its history.

Mothercare, the struggling children’s goods retailer that abruptly replaced its chief executive this month, has reported a decline in quarterly sales as it continues to explore financing options and close shops

13 April

The business led by Rob Arnott, the entrepreneur known as the “godfather of smart beta”, is tapping into demand for investment products that address concerns over environment, social and governance issues.

China’s aluminium exports rose to a record in the first quarter of this year, and analysts said the country’s producers will benefit further now that the US sanctions against Russia’s Rusal are starting to bite.

Bed Bath & Beyond is getting battered on Thursday, with the home retailer’s shares plunging to their lowest point in nearly 10 years after its soft outlook underscored analysts’ fears about its ability to shore up sagging sales.

Rocket Internet, the Berlin-based tech investor, said revenues at key companies such as HelloFresh, the Global Fashion Group and Jumia rose 28 per cent last year, while losses had narrowed once again over the past 12 months.