14 January – 18 January

14 January

China’s central bank has refused to acknowledge applications submitted by Visa and Mastercard to process renminbi payments, despite rules in 2017 that removed formal obstacles to foreign participation in the $124tn market following a decade-long struggle.

India has displaced Germany as the world’s fourth-largest market for vehicle sales by volume and is on track to take the number three position from Japan within three years.

Zimbabwe has become one of the world’s most expensive places to buy gasoline after President Emmerson Mnangagwa announced that fuel prices would double overnight, highlighting a currency crisis that has caused widespread shortages and lengthy queues at petrol stations across the southern African nation.

US stock futures tip Wall Street for a lower start amid renewed fears about the health of the global economy and amid concerns about bank results as US earnings season gets under way.

15 January

Carnival time comes late to Brazil this year but for investors, it appears to have come early. The real is the world’s best-performing currency so far in 2019 according to Bloomberg data, while the Bovespa stock market index has hit a string of record highs over the past fortnight.

A second profit warning from Spire Healthcare prompted many investors to sell their shares in the private hospital group, extending a decline that has wiped away almost two-thirds of the group’s stock market value in the past six months.

Growth slowed at Games Workshop, the retailer known for its miniature figurines of fantasy characters, as it released results for the six months to the beginning of December.

Mexico’s financing needs this year amount to 7.2 per cent of GDP, but the government expects to cover most of its needs in local markets, saying it would only tap international markets as a complementary strategy and when conditions allow.

16 January

Sterling reacted positively to the resounding defeat of UK prime minister Theresa May’s deal to exit the EU, bouncing off the day’s lows against the US dollar to trade near levels where it began the London trading day.

Nordstrom said slower traffic in its department stores hurt sales during the critical holiday shopping season and warned that full-year earnings will come in around the low end of its guidance.

The company behind hit mobile game Pokémon Go is now valued at almost $4bn, up more than three-fold in just over a year, after raising $245m from investors including IVP, Samsung Ventures and esports group a Xiomatic Gaming.

US stocks overcame a shaky start to trade comfortably higher by midday, with tech stocks leading the charge.

17 January

The Federal Reserve said businesses are becoming less optimistic in many parts of the country because of the recent financial market volatility, higher interest rates and trade tensions.

Sage said on Thursday sales rose 7.6 per cent in the first three months of its fiscal year, as the UK’s largest listed technology group moved from a licence-based business to subscriptions and was also propped up by double-digit growth in North America.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing, the world’s largest contract chipmaker, expects a sharp downturn in revenue growth in the first three months of 2019, in the latest sign of slowing smartphone demand and as a weak global economic outlook hits electronics suppliers.

The Brazilian government is forecasting this year’s coffee crop to total between 50m and 55m 60kg bags, a 15 per cent decline from last year’s record harvest. The country’s coffee growing has traditionally followed a cycle of huge biennial swings, with an “on” year of large production followed by an “off” year of low output as the trees recover.

18 January

Asia-Pacific equities clambered higher on Friday, with all major stock benchmarks buoyed by hopes that a more permanent truce might be brokered in the US-China trade war.

Royal Bank of Scotland has taken steps to accelerate its return to the private sector with a proposal allowing it to buy back government-owned shares in off-market deals.

Netflix underwhelmed investors with its latest quarterly results, snapping a recent stock rally for the streaming giant after a mixed performance on revenues, earnings and subscriptions.

Investors are tiptoeing back into emerging markets equities, hoping to ride a string of recent gains after a bruising year dominated by political crises.