20 August – 24 August

20 August

Moody’s has extended its review of Italy’s Baa2 ratings in order to get “better visibility on the country’s policy direction” under its coalition government.

Greece’s exit from eight years of international bailout programmes on August 20 will be a defining moment in its emergence from the depths of austerity. But government and business acknowledge that this is just a milestone.

Daikin Industries is aiming to break new ground in east Africa after success in China and India that catapulted the Japanese group to the world’s largest air conditioner maker.

China’s ecommerce giants are fighting it out over everything from customer data to exclusive contracts with retailers.

21 August

Prices on Italian government debt got a boost on Tuesday after Moody’s extended the deadline for its review into a potential downgrade of the country’s credit rating.

Barclays has poached one of Goldman Sachs’ top electronic trading engineers as the firm continues to overhaul and “digitalise” its markets business.

Urban Outfitters shares rose as much as 5 per cent in after-hours trading after the apparel retailer reported revenue and earnings that surpassed analyst expectations.

Estate agency group Countrywide has raised £140m from investors, despite issuing a profit warning earlier this summer as it grapples with a faltering property market.

22 August

Asia-Pacific stock markets diverged on Wednesday with some equities benchmarks sustaining losses in spite of a solid lead-in from Wall Street, where the S&P 500 index hit an all-time intraday high, just a day before the US stock market was set to notch a record for the longest bull run ever — barring a major collapse.

The Federal Reserve should gradually raise rates three or four more times to move towards a neutral monetary policy stance, Robert Kaplan, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, wrote in an essay published Tuesday.

Geely has become China’s third-largest carmaker after six months that saw profits rise 53 per cent on the back of strong sales in spite of tougher conditions in its home market.

Goldman Sachs has agreed the £1.2bn sale and leaseback of its new London headquarters with Korea’s National Pension Service in the latest sign of strong demand for property assets in the city.

23 August

Stocks and bonds were unperturbed following the release of the minutes of the Federal Reserve’s most recent meeting, which showed the central bank remained on track to raise interest rates next month.

Japan’s manufacturing sector showed some signs of improvement in August with strength in the domestic market providing support as export orders fell, according to a preliminary reading of an industry gauge.

Investors soured on Hormel Foods on Thursday, after the meat and packaged food company revised down its net sales forecast as it contends with pressures on pork sales and potential tariff-related risks.

Australian airline Qantas has announced record profits as its domestic business flourished. Full-year underlying pre-tax profit rose 14 per cent to A$1.6bn (US$1.2bn) compared with 2017. This was at the top end of its guidance from May.

24 August

A fall in the UK pound accelerated in New York trading on Thursday, with investors mulling the government’s contingency plans for a no-deal Brexit. Shortly before 11am on Wall Street, sterling was off 0.7 per cent against the buck at $1.2821. It was off 0.4 per cent against the euro, with a pound buying €1.1085.

Germany recorded a record budget surplus in the first half of this year, an achievement that immediately triggered calls for tax cuts and higher public investment. According to figures released by the federal statistical office, Germany had a surplus of €48.1bn in the first six months of 2018, equivalent to 2.9 per cent of economic output — the highest level since German reunification in 1990.

Profits at the world’s largest Ferrari, Lamborghini and Bentley dealer HR Owen doubled last year, spurred by cost cutting under new ownership and buoyant spending by super-wealthy customers.

HP, the printer and personal computer business spun out of Hewlett-Packard in 2015, reported a solid jump in quarterly profit amid gains in both its printing and personal systems divisions.