28 May – 01 June

28 May

Opec and Russia are set to boost oil supply in an effort to cool prices, but questions remain over how the increase will work.

Lukoil, Russia’s second-largest oil producer, has reported a 75 per cent jump in first-quarter net profit, as a recent surge in global crude prices to near four-year highs helped push up revenue and margins.

Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi has been accused by prominent environmentalists of failing to disclose environmental transgressions by a supplier, which could impact the company’s upcoming $10bn public offering, said investors.

The euro firmed on Monday after Italy’s populists parties droppedtheir bid to form a government following the Italian president’s block on the nomination of a Eurosceptic finance minister.

29 May

Italy’s political crisis, now almost sure to send the country back to the polls in the autumn, is dramatic yet strange. Dramatic because it has pitched two anti-establishment parties which won a combined 50 per cent of the votes in March’s election against the constitutional right of a head of state to reject a proposed minister.

The euro on Tuesday slipped below the $1.16 level for the first time since November 2017 after a sell-off in the Italian debt market ricocheted into forex trade.

China’s Alibaba is doubling down on logistics by taking a stake in courier firm ZTO Express.

Royal Bank of Scotland has become the latest bank to stop financing environmentally damaging energy and mining projects, as investors ramp up pressure on lenders to do more to tackle climate change.

30 May

An index of major Chinese stocks listed in Hong Kong was threatening to close at its worst level in 2018 on Wednesday as the Italian political crisis continued to worry investors and after the US and China trade war returned to focus.

It is not a good time to be making toys in China. Before President Trump ignited talk of a US-China trade war, the world’s biggest toy-exporting nation already faced thin profit margins, accelerated product cycles and rising wages. And that was before Chinese factories were hit by the bankruptcy of American retailer Toys ‘R’ Us last year.

Shares in UK engineering business Smiths Group touched an all-time high on Tuesday after it confirmed to investors that it had held preliminary talks about the possible merger of its medical business with a US rival.

Gold climbed on Tuesday as developments in Italian politics sparked widespread investor anxiety.

31 May

UK consumer borrowing recovered in April, in a sign that the economy is regaining momentum after a dismal first quarter.

Warren Buffett and Uber held talks about a potential $3bn investment by Berkshire Hathaway in the ride-hailing company but the two sides could not reach an agreement on terms, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Box cut its full-year earnings outlook in a move that overshadowed record quarterly revenue for the cloud storage company and sent its shares down more than 4 per cent in after-hours trade.

Hopes that Italy might manage to avoid a new election underpinned a rebound for the country’s stock and government bond markets following steep losses over the past few sessions.

01 June

Executives at Spanish factories reported a slowdown last month in the rate of growth in output and new orders, pressuring a key gauge of the country’s manufacturing sector to the lowest level since August 2017.

Samsonite shares jumped as much as 15.2 per cent in morning trading in Hong Kong after the company’s chief executive resigned in the wake of a critical report from a short seller.

An underwhelming forecast for the current quarter took some of the shine off of stronger than expected earnings for Ulta, sending its shares lower in after-hours trading.

Shares in Deutsche Bank were up 1.7 per cent in early trade on Friday, in a partial recovery following a turbulent Thursday that dragged them down more than 7 per cent.