News

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.

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07 January – 11 January

07 January

Growth in Japan’s services sector slowed at the end of 2018 as poor weather and weaker demand growth provided a drag, according to an industry gauge. The Nikkei-Markit services purchasing managers’ index dipped to a three-month low of 51 in December, down from 52.3 in November and bringing the reading closer to the 50-point level separating expansion from contraction.

Financial services companies have moved almost £800bn in staff, operations and customer funds to Europe since the Brexit referendum, according to a report from consultancy EY.

Asia bucked the trend of falling venture capital deals last year, notching up more than 5,000 transactions — a sharp contrast with the US where deal activity hit a five-year low.

Greater market transparency and the adoption of technology are two trends often cited as being responsible for the gradual demise of the trading desk. When it comes to the buyside, however, this new transparency and technology reveal the extent of traders’ contribution to alpha generation, helping to balance the relationship between trader and portfolio manager.

08 January

Steel prices in the US have dropped below their levels before President Donald Trump announced new tariffs on imports last year, as world markets have responded to concerns about a slowdown in demand in China.

Samsung Electronics estimated its first drop in quarterly operating profit in two years as the two-year semiconductor supercycle began to fizzle out and smartphone sales continued to slow.

China was the only country whose companies increased the number of technology patents they were awarded in the US last year, according to an analysis to be released on Tuesday.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visited Beijing on Tuesday at the invitation of Chinese president Xi Jinping in a reminder of the close ties between the two countries even as Pyongyang and Washington are at loggerheads over nuclear disarmament.

09 January

US and European stocks maintained their upward momentum as hopes for progress in resolving the trade dispute between Beijing and Washington were buoyed by news that negotiations between the two countries would be extended into a third day.

Apple chief executive Tim Cook saw his total remuneration jump by 22 per cent its last fiscal year ended in September, as iPhone sales hit a peak from which they have since begun a sharp decline.

Department store chain JCPenney on Tuesday became among the first major US retailers to post a holiday update, noting sales during the crucial shopping period fell.

Hong Kong stocks were on track for their best one-day performance in more than a month on Wednesday amid optimism for extended US-China trade talks and as Beijing promised policies to support domestic spending.

10 January

Factory gate inflation dipped to a two-year low in China in December while consumer inflation in China fell to a six-month low, government figures showed on Thursday, in the latest sign China’s economy is slowing.

The Volkswagen brand set a new sales record in 2018, but just barely, as growth deteriorated in the second half of the year due to trade tariffs and “severe repercussions” from new European emissions standards.

Britain’s retailers suffered their worst Christmas trading since the depths of the global financial crisis, with heavy price cutting failing to persuade worried customers to splash out.

US stocks notched up their longest winning streak in four months as investors remained optimistic about trade talks between Washington and Beijing and the Federal Reserve was shown to be weighing the case to pause raising interest rates.

11 January

Investors entered the new year nervously, whiplashed by one of the worst months for stocks in a decade and wary over the global economic slowdown. The first batches of economic data from China and the US were disappointing, stirring concerns that 2019 might continue where 2018 left off.

Two of Apple’s major resellers in China have cut prices of some iPhone models by more than a fifth, as they try to battle the poor sales in the region that led to a rare earnings warning.

Retail fund investors lose up to a quarter of their gross returns in costs and charges, according to research from the EU’s main securities regulator. The disclosure will ratchet up pressure on the asset management industry to show that it is giving value for money.

Brazil’s consumer prices slowed in December, leaving annual headline inflation below the central bank’s target band for the second consecutive year. Annual consumer price inflation — as measured by the IPCA index — topped 3.75 per cent in for the whole of last year, according to figures released on Friday by the IBGE, the country’s statistics agency. This is higher than the 2.95 per cent reported in 2017, but still way under the inflation target of Brazil’s monetary authority of 4.5 per cent plus or minus 1.5 percentage points.

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31 December – 04 January

31 December

China has said it is willing to work with the US to implement the “important consensus” reached at the G20, in a potential sign of progress in trade negotiations following a phone call between the two presidents at the weekend.

Some of the most popular apps for Android smartphones, including Skyscanner, TripAdvisor and MyFitnessPal, are transmitting data to Facebook without the consent of users in a potential breach of EU regulations.

Courts in Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates have upheld lengthy jail sentences against prominent activists for criticising their governments on social media, in rulings that human rights groups strongly criticised.

On January 1 1999, 11 countries fixed their exchange rates and created a new currency: the euro. Three years later euro coins and notes came into circulation. Eight additional countries have joined the currency over the following years and seven more could join once they meet the criteria.

01 January

Global bond markets enjoyed their best month in more than a year in December, as rising concerns over the health of theglobal economy sent investors in search of relatively safe assets.

The ascent of mobile payments in China is quickly rendering cash obsolete, even as China’s central bank cracks down on merchants who refuse to accept bank notes and coins and tries to stop Ant Financial and Tencent dominating retail payments.

Erik Prince, the founder of private security company Blackwater, is launching a fund to capitalise on the scramble for battery metals across Africa and Asia, as the world’s largest carmakers gear up to go electric.

The 10-year US government bond yield is arguably the most widely watched and influential interest rate in the world, and the market turbulence of 2018 shows that investors are acutely sensitive to its movements. As last year drew to a close, the $14tn market staged a robust rally, cramming down yields as fixed-income investors began to anticipate a US economy coming down from the stimulus-induced high.

02 January

China’s manufacturing sector contracted for the first time in 19 months in December, as demand softened amid China-US trade frictions, according to a private survey.

China National Tobacco, the world’s largest cigarette maker, plans to list its international unit on Hong Kong’s stock exchange, allowing private investors to profit from China’s state-run tobacco monopoly.

The chief of Europe’s biggest paintmaker Akzo Nobel, which rejected a €27bn takeover offer in 2017, has insisted that the company can achieve the ambitious financial target promised during its defence campaign.

Stock markets in Asia Pacific made a cautious start to 2019 after figures showing that China’s manufacturing sector contracted for the first time in 19 months in December.

03 January

Turkey’s currency has sustained a fresh blow in a grim 2019 debut marked by rising concerns over the global economy and angst that improving inflation data could prompt the central bank to prematurely reduce interest rates.

Apple shocked Wall Street with an extremely rare revenue warning late on Wednesday, blaming economic weakness in China and fewer people in the developed world upgrading their iPhones for a shortfall of as much as 10 per cent from its previous expectations.

A Beijing-based construction company has made a A$2bn ($1.4bn) offer for Australian healthcare clinic operator Healius in what would be the first major Chinese investment in the country since the government blocked a A$13bn takeover of a gas pipeline utility in November.

The Japanese yen has abruptly rocketed higher to an eight-month high against the dollar, as news of Apple’s sluggish Chinese sales appears to have stoked concerns over the global economy and sent investors scrambling for safer assets.

04 January

Apple’s unexpected warning on weak Chinese sales has stoked fears over the health of the global economy, rattling financial markets and leading traders to bet that the Federal Reserve is more likely to cut interest rates than raise them in 2019.

Investors fled into money market funds in an attempt to shelter from the turmoil that has sent prices on bonds, loans and equities plummeting in recent weeks.

Fears of a Chinese slowdown triggered by Apple’s revenue warning appear to have spooked investors of luxury brands and other companies that look to consumer spending in the world’s second-largest economy to boost their top and bottom lines.

US stocks retreated on Thursday morning as investors took Apple’s sales warning and a disappointing survey of American manufacturers as fresh signs of a slowdown in the US and Chinese economies.

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24 December – 28 December

24 December

All industrial revolutions need two things: technology and finance. The US shale revolution was made possible by the advances in horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing that allowed oil and gas to be released from previously unyielding rocks. But the industry’s financing was equally important in turning those innovations into a production boom that has shaken the world.

China has claimed that it has amassed Rmb12.5tn ($1.8tn) of state money across thousands of venture capital funds to achieve its goal of technological dominance by 2025.

Alibaba affiliate Ant Financial is in talks to buy WorldFirst, the UK-based international payments group, for about $700m.

US Treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin said the chiefs of the country’s biggest banks had confirmed to him that they have ample liquidity as the administration attempted to calm nerves following a torrid week for financial markets.

25 December

In the run-up to Christmas, Tao Xin and his team of 200 salespeople in the eastern Chinese city of Yiwu work long hours dispatching the make-up and accessories they sell on Amazon and US ecommerce site Wish.

The US stock market index suffered sharp losses on the day before Christmas as investors reacted negatively to US Treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin’s highly unusual effort to reassure investors about Wall Street banks’ liquidity, with markets in Japan picking up the baton on Christmas Day.

26 December

The depressing reality about climate change is that we could solve the problem, at manageable cost, but are failing to do so. This failure is due to a mixture of blindness and self-deception. The blindness comes from those, such as US president Donald Trump, who deny the reality of climate change. The self-deception comes from those who accept the reality, but only pretend to solve it. We must do better than this — and very soon. This is no longer a scientific or technological challenge, it is far more a political and social one.

Ethical lenders that have been touted as alternatives to high-cost firms such as Wonga and BrightHouse are going out of business at the fastest rate in years, fuelling concerns that less well-off customers are in danger of losing access to credit.

China will encourage commercial banks to replenish capital by issuing perpetual bonds, offering a new tool for lenders facing pressure to improve capital ratios amid a slowing economy and tightening regulation.

If any company could be expected to remain enthusiastic about peer-to-peer lending, it might be one that registered its shares under the stock ticker “P2P”.

27 December

The US welcomed the most initial public offerings for Chinese companies since 2010 in spite of a high-profile trade war between the two countries that threatened the cross-border flow of goods and roiled financial markets in 2018.

Shanghai office worker Jin Linglan had just put a downpayment on a car when she realised her savings were gone. Like many prosperous Chinese, Ms Jin invested in financial products that promised a high rate of return. And, like many of her fellow investors, she has made the painful discovery that her money has been swallowed up by the recurring defaults in China’s shadow banking market.

All English retailers could have to charge shoppers 10p for plastic bags, the government has proposed, as part of accelerating efforts to tackle plastic waste.

28 December

Investors cannot be blamed for feeling a case of whiplash this holiday season. Bears had all but taken over Wall Street, setting US stocks up for the worst December since the Great Depression in the 1930s. December 24 delivered the largest Christmas Eve decline for both the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

Electric scooter sharing start-ups, including Bird and Lime, are “not sustainable” businesses, said a top executive at the world’s biggest manufacturer of the two-wheeled vehicles.

Zoomlion, China’s largest heavy machinery company, is hunting for acquisitions in Europe to boost its technological prowess and win a greater share of the global market, with the construction segment at home expected to contract next year.

Plus500 has defied a European crackdown on leveraged trading products, saying it expected to beat market estimates in 2018. The group benefited from a rush of customers speculating on its cryptocurrency derivatives as crypto fever took hold at the end of last year. It also received a boost from “significant” market volatility in recent months.

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17 December – 21 December

17 December

Sentiment among leading investors is souring rapidly as they become more convinced that the global economy is likely to deteriorate over the coming year, according to new research on asset managers.

Jack in the Box, the burger chain best know for its two-for-99 cents taco deal, is exploring strategic alternatives, including a possible sale of the company, less than a month after reporting a slump in full-year sales and earnings.

Boeing and Embraer said they have approved the terms of a joint venture that will give the US aircraft maker 80 per cent control over the Brazilian company’s commercial aircraft and services operations for $4.2bn.

US credit markets are grinding to a halt with fund managers refusing to bankroll buyouts and investors shunning high-yield bond sales as rising interest rates and market volatility weigh on sentiment.

18 December

A slump in Turkey’s industrial production gathered pace in October, prompting warnings that the country is headed for a recession as it grapples with the fallout from a currency meltdown.

Turkey’s retailers suffered their worst fall in sales on record, according to dismal data released on Tuesday that lay bare the pain felt by the country’s shopkeepers as a result of the currency crisis and a wider economic slowdown.

Fishing enthusiasts fell hook, line and sinker for specialist retailer Angling Direct’s Black Friday deals, which helped send sales up almost a third in a period marked by high street malaise.

Growing concerns over the health of the global economy pushed US stocks sharply lower for the second day in a row as participants awaited the outcome of a two-day meeting of the Federal Reserve’s policy-setting Open Market Committee.

19 December

Britain’s inflation rate dropped to a 20-month low in November as falling oil prices helped provide a further boost to living standards, according to data from the Office for National Statistics.

German electronics retailer Ceconomy on Wednesday issued a reminder that recent retail woes have not been confined to the UK high street, reporting significantly weaker than expected performance in its domestic market and a downbeat outlook for the new year.

Japan’s biggest initial public offering made a dismal trading debut with shares in SoftBank’s mobile phone business sliding 15 per cent, wiping $9bn off the company’s IPO price market capitalisation.

Newly issued shares in SoftBank’s mobile phone business made a disappointing debut on Wednesday, with shares in Japan’s biggest ever IPO plunging by more than 10 per cent in the first few minutes after the market open.

20 December

The Federal Reserve lowered its expectations for US economic growth on Wednesday amid signs of a global slowdown and volatility in financial markets.

Aluminium prices fell to their lowest level in 16 months on Thursday after the US said it would lift sanctions on Russian producer Rusal, which could see metal produced by the company enter a market already suffering from a slowdown in global economic growth.

Danish headphone and speaker maker Bang & Olufsen lost more than a quarter of its value on Thursday after it cut its sales outlook for the year, blaming a string of logistical problems.

21 December

The Canadian economy grew at a faster rate than expected at the start of the fourth quarter as manufacturing activity picked up.

Britain’s car factories suffered their worst November in a decade last month, with a 20 per cent fall in output underscoring fears that the sector has started to contract before the UK’s departure from the EU.

Nike’s efforts to sell more products directly to consumers and cut out the middleman appears to be paying off.

Shares in Natixis had their steepest one-day drop since the Brexit vote after the French investment bank disclosed that turbulent markets had left it nursing a multimillion euro hit linked to Asian equity derivatives.

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10 December – 14 December

10 December

Norwegian inflation jumped in November even as oil prices have started to fall, hitting its highest level in almost two years. Rising energy prices have pushed up inflation in the oil-focused economy of Norway, with price growth accelerating from just 1.1 per cent in November 2017 to 3.4 per cent in August and September.

Japan’s economy shrank much more than initially reported in the third quarter according to a revised estimate from the country’s Cabinet Office.

Vodafone plans to install 4G and 5G equipment to the underside of thousands of manhole covers across Britain to boost connection speeds in the busiest urban areas and meet the public’s insatiable demand for mobile data.

European stock-index futures dropped on Monday after a volatile week in which both the FTSE 100 and the Germany’s Dax fell to two year lows with uncertainty over Brexit and a deterioration of relations between the US and China weighing on investor sentiment.

11 December

US stock-index futures were higher on Tuesday amid hopes of progress in the US-China trade war. Investors have fretted that the arrest in Canada last week of a high-ranking executive at Chinese telecoms group Huawei over allegations of US sanctions busting could jeopardise the fragile trade truce between Washington and Beijing that had been nurtured earlier this month.

Mercedes-Benz owner Daimler said it will spend €20bn on battery cells over the next decade, to meet its ambitious target to electrify its entire product line.

Mobike, the Chinese dockless bike-sharing company, is preparing to spin off its European arm, which it is valuing at $100m. Mobike is owned by Chinese ecommerce company Meituan Dianping, which is backed by Chinese tech group Tencent and made its debut on the Hong Kong stock exchange in September.

European equities bourses sold off sharply in one of the worst trading sessions of the year after Theresa May said she had delayed a vote to approve the EU withdrawal treaty indefinitely.

12 December

A new spell of tepid inflation in the US is giving the Federal Reserve space to slow down its interest rate-raising programme as it gauges new global risks on the horizon.

Prices of luxury goods and services have risen more than twice as fast as those of ordinary items over the past year, new research has found.

An Israeli start-up has raised money from Chinese technology and e-commerce group Alibaba as it expands its software aimed at improving public transport networks.

Wall Street turned lower on Tuesday, erasing earlier gains as President Donald Trump’s threat to allow a government shutdown damped optimism over US-China trade relations.

13 December

China’s food importers have bought cargoes of US soyabeans for the first time in months, a move that will soothe an important constituency for President Donald Trump during the two countries’ 90-day truce on trade.

Brazil’s central bank kept interest rates unchanged on Wednesday for the eighth month in a row as tame inflation readings give policymakers breathing room to take a wait-and-see stance.

Under Armour shares tumbled on Wednesday after the athletic wear company issued an underwhelming longer term forecast at its investor day.

Asia-Pacific equities were broadly higher after a positive session on Wall Street saw the S&P 500 end the day up 0.5 per cent, although it had gained as much as 2 per cent following positive comments from US President Donald Trump on the prospects of a US-China trade deal.

14 December

Saudi Arabia on Friday deposited $1bn into Pakistan’s depleting foreign reserves, in the latest boost to help the country avert a balance of payments crisis.

Japan Display shares jumped on Friday after reports the embattled Apple supplier was in talks with a group of Chinese companies over a potential alliance.

BNP’s Polish arm will cut its staff by up to 2200 over the next two years, in an effort to cut costs following its purchase of Raiffeisen Bank International’s Polish business.

Asia-Pacific equities lost momentum on Friday while data from China showed retail sales grew at the slowest pace in more than 15 years.

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03 December – 07 December

03 December

The Mexican peso jumped by the most in nearly five months on Monday after authorities offered to buy back bonds tied to an airport project that could be scrapped.

Europe will look to import 25 per cent more Russian pipeline gas as of 2020, Gazprom has said as it gears up for a record year.

Unilever has agreed to pay €3.3bn for GlaxoSmithKline’s consumer nutrition business, expanding its footprint in India with the popular hot malted beverage Horlicks.

GFG Alliance, the acquisitive industrial conglomerate led by British metals magnate Sanjeev Gupta, is buying a US steel company for $320m as it pursues plans to invest $5bn in North America.

04 December

Shares of US and European automakers raced higher on Monday after the Trump administration signalled China could cut tariffs on US-made vehicles.

As for almost every other metal, the copper price bounced on Monday after the US and China announced a trade truce, up 2 per cent to $6,352 a tonne. As with nickel and zinc, the copper market has been unnerved by fears that trade tensions between Washington and Beijing would further strain a Chinese economy already showing signs of slowing. Copper has closely tracked the renminbi since June.

A handful of small banks stocks have defied the market downturn that has engulfed many of their peers — with help from index funds. The KBW regional bank index is down 12 per cent in the past six months, against a small gain for the larger market, as investors worry about rising deposit costs and a peaking economy.

Stocks in the Asia-Pacific region were broadly lower on Tuesday as the previous session’s rally appeared to run out of momentum in the absence of more concrete details on the US-China trade truce.

05 December

Italy’s prime minister has signalled he would be willing to modify his government’s budget plan in response to criticism from Brussels but only if the expensive welfare policies it contains remain intact.

Acast, a Swedish audio start-up, has raised $35m from a group of Nordic investors in its push to expand into new countries and increase its presence on smart speakers, such as Amazon’s Alexa.

Hyundai Motor’s plan to build a low-wage factory in South Korea has been thrown into doubt after talks with a provincial government broke down on Wednesday over some terms related to pay negotiations.

City stockbroker Numis posted a double-digit drop in profits in 2018, blaming a recent hiring spree and costs related to tough new EU markets regulations that are beginning to weigh on the industry.

06 December

Tariffs, new emission standards, diesel bans and the shift to electric vehicles: the list of headwinds hitting the car industry is long. But Volkswagen is still on track for a record year of deliveries, the company said Thursday. The VW core passenger marque said deliveries of its vehicles in the first 11 months rose 1.2 per cent from the record level of 2017, to 5.7m cars.

The UK’s big gambling companies have agreed to cease television advertising during some live sports broadcasts, in a bid to head off action by regulators at a time when the industry is under increasing scrutiny.

Eddie Lampert, the billionaire chairman of Sears, has put forward plans to buy most of the bankrupt department store chain’s remaining assets, pitching it as a rescue bid to avert an outright liquidation and save 50,000 jobs.

China-focused stocks were the among the worst performers in the region on Thursday after the arrest of Huawei’s chief financial officer in Vancouver reignited concerns about US-China trade tensions.

07 December

Crumbling hopes for a US trade rapprochement with China and worries about sluggish global growth prompted investors on Thursday to slash their bets on Federal Reserve rate rises.

Stronger gun sales and growth in knives, optics and other accessories propelled American Outdoor Brands in its fiscal second quarter, igniting a sharp rally in the company’s shares late Thursday.

Fresenius was on course for its worst share price fall in twenty years on Friday after the German healthcare group issued a profit warning. Shares fell more than 15 per cent in morning trading to €40.16, the lowest level since 2014.

The US exported more petroleum than it imported for the first time in decades last week, marking an astonishing if momentary reversal from its longtime status as the world’s largest oil importer.

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26 November – 30 November

26 November

Growth in Japan’s manufacturing sector slowed to a two-year low in November, according to a preliminary reading.

US stock futures were tipping Wall Street for solid opening gains on Monday amid a rally in crude prices and as retail stocks get a lift from Black Friday sales data showing a strong start to the holiday shopping season.

The UK’s competition watchdog has raised concerns about the merger of US payments company PayPal and Swedish start-up iZettle, saying the tie-up could push up prices and reduce the range of services on offer to customers.

One of China’s few independent economic think tanks has been forced to cease operations in the latest sign of Beijing’s growing intolerance of dissent as economic growth slows amid an ongoing trade war with the US.

27 November

Wall Street futures were pointing lower on Tuesday morning in the wake of President Donald Trump threatening to expand the US’s trade war with China.

Hedge funds have more than tripled their bets against the oil price since the beginning of October, amassing the largest short position against crude in more than a year as prices have tumbled.

Shares in casino operator Genting Malaysia slid to a seven-year low on Tuesday after the company said it was suing Twenty First Century Fox and Disney for terminating an agreement over a theme park outside Kuala Lumpur.

Line Corp shares jumped on Tuesday after a report the Tokyo-listed messaging app operator would enter a tie-up with Tencent to provide mobile payments in Japan.

28 November

Britain’s small towns and communities have missed out on a surge in foreign direct investment in the past 20 years, new analysis shows.

French beauty retailer L’Occitane has attracted interest from global private equity groups including Advent International, raising the prospects of a bid to take over a company with a market value of $2.7bn.

GlaxoSmithKline has entered into exclusive negotiations to sell its nutrition business to Unilever, ending a multi-month auction process for the $4bn unit that includes the prized Horlicks malted drink brand popular in India.

Soyabean prices bounced back on Tuesday as traders continued to weigh the prospect of the US and China reaching a trade war truce at the G20 summit later this week.

29 November

Swiss gross domestic product in the third quarter of the year fell 0.2 per cent compared to the previous quarter as a slowdown in European growth hit trade.

Car production in the UK dropped by almost 10 per cent in October — the fifth consecutive month of declining output — as falling sales in Britain and mainland Europe hit the country’s automotive plants.

Investors in the five largest UK property funds have more than £4bn of exposure to the country’s struggling stores and shopping centres, which analysts say could shed as much as 20 per cent of their value by the end of 2019.

Wall Street was in the black ahead of remarks by Federal Reserve chair Jay Powell as investors continue to hold their nerve on trade as the G20 summit nears.

30 November

US President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping are set to meet on Saturday on the sidelines of the G20 meeting to discuss to the rumbling trade war between the two countries, but analysts’ expectations are low for a resolution.

Nvidia’s share price over the past five years is a good representation of the frenzy about artificial intelligence that has occurred over the same period. From the start of 2014 until September, Nvidia’s price rose by more than 1,500 per cent. Since then, its shares have roughly halved in value.

Brazil’s economy grew at its fastest pace in 18 months during the third quarter as the country bounced back from a crippling trucker strike and providing a fillip to the incoming government of Jair Bolsonaro.

Manolete, a UK business that finances or acquires insolvency disputes, is to float on London’s junior market.  The company has raised £29.4m for the IPO, which will give it a market capitalisation of £76.3m when it lists in December.

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19 November – 23 November

19 November

Thailand’s economy grew at a slower pace than forecast in the three months to the end of September as exports decelerated and the tourism sector was hit by a fall in Chinese visitors after a tour boat capsized, killing almost 50 people.

A Chinese company is set to invest $2bn to build an industrial park at Clark Air Base, the former US military outpost in the Philippines, marking one of the most vivid signs yet of President Rodrigo Duterte’s increasing tilt towards Beijing away from Washington.

Over the summer, Larry Culp toured some of General Electric’s operations to introduce himself to the company where he had just been appointed lead independent director. After taking over as chief executive last month, he now has to decide which of those businesses he wants to keep.

The UK pound edged higher against major currencies early in the European trading session on Monday, after the EU’s chief negotiator proposed extending Britain’s transition out of the bloc, and as Theresa May fought to keep her deal — and her premiership — alive.

20 November

Asia is expected to lose out from the impact of the US-China trade war but Nomura analysts say Malaysia is best placed to benefit as an alternative source of imports, while Vietnam is set to gain as companies move production to escape tariffs.

Campbell Soup said on Tuesday its turnround plan started to pay off in the most recent quarter, stemming sales declines in its US soup business and driving growth for V8 juices, as the company looks to fight off a challenge from an activist investor.

A ramp up in investments helped keep the tills ringing at Target during the latest quarter but this came at the expense of profit margins, which suffered a surprise drop, spooking investors who sent the shares sharply lower.

Asia-Pacific stocks fell on Tuesday, mirroring a technology sell-off overnight on Wall Street amid concerns over iPhone demand and the US-China trade war.

21 November

Consumer price growth in Japan stalled last month as a jump in fresh food prices boosted headline inflation but left less volatile measures of consumer costs remained flat.

The liquid diet is back. Marston’s, the UK brewer and pub operator, reported a fifth year of like-for-like growth on Wednesday thanks to more drinking during the hot summer and football World Cup.

FTSE 250 bank Paragon grew its profits by a quarter in its latest financial year, avoiding many of the profit margin pressures that have hit mainstream banks by expanding into new products.

Oil and gas stocks led Wall Street lower, outweighing a recovery for technology stocks, in an otherwise bruising session for equities that at one point saw the S&P 500 enter correction territory and the Nasdaq Composite turn negative for the year.

22 November

After six months of turbulence, investors in Italy’s bond market are acclimatising to the new normal as Brussels and Rome prepare for a prolonged stalemate over the country’s budget.

There are more than a few turkeys in the S&P 500’s consumer discretionary sector this week in the lead-up to some of the festive season’s biggest shopping events.

Struggling children’s goods retailer Mothercare on Thursday said negative press coverage in the past year had damaged its brand, causing sales in the UK to decline.

The recent slump in oil prices has pushed the risk premium investors demand to hold the debt of riskier US energy companies to its highest level in 15 months.

23 November

Ukraine’s parliament has approved the government’s 2019 budget after a tense all-night session, a step that Kiev hopes will unlock $3.9bn of IMF loans and help to stabilise the country as it approaches elections.

Cracks are forming in the hotspot housing markets of China and Hong Kong, forcing developers to offload properties at a discount and weighing on shares.

‘Tis the day after Thanksgiving, and a white noise of mouse clicking and smartphone thumbing — pierced occasionally by so-called “doorbusters” shrieking “That’s my damn flatscreen TV!” — can be heard across the US as consumers peruse Black Friday sales.

Equities were mostly lower across Asia on Friday, led by a hit to Chinese stocks.  The CSI 300 index of major Shanghai and Shenzhen stocks slipped 1.4 per cent with a 2.9 per cent drop for the technology segment.

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12 November – 16 November

12 November

Germany is enjoying possibly its longest economic upswing since the second world war. Unemployment stands at 3.5 per cent. Wage growth is accelerating. The government coffers are overflowing and public debt is plummeting. Its brands are synonymous with quality. Economic strength has given it pre-eminence in Europe. Germans have never had it so good.

A wall of onshore debt worth tens of billions of dollars issued by Chinese property developers is due to mature next year, raising concerns over defaults at a time of economic slowdown and tightening liquidity.

The owner of casual dining chains Zizzi and Ask Italian on Monday reported a rise in full-year sales despite headwinds facing the sector, but margins continued to be squeezed.

HSBC is planning to rebuild its presence in Brazil three years after selling most operations in the country, as new chief executive John Flint works towards his target of putting Europe’s largest bank back into “growth mode”.

13 November

In its new annual financial stability report, China’s central bank has again sounded the alarm that “grey rhino” risks — clear and present dangers that are often neglected — continue to threaten the economy.

One possibility he raised was selling more of the healthcare division, which has been one of GE’s more successful businesses, and selling just under 50 per cent of it for cash.

The Ratner family has loomed large in the US real estate industry for nearly a century, with marquee projects ranging from The New York Times headquarters in Manhattan to the Barclays Center sports arena in Brooklyn and the redevelopment of the Washington DC waterfront.

Vodafone shares jumped more than 6 per cent on Tuesday after the telecoms group pledged to maintain its dividend, despite unveiling a first-half loss of €7.8bn following asset writedowns.

14 November

Retail sales growth in China unexpectedly dipped to the slowest pace since May last month while real estate sales decelerated further, even as official data showed industrial output and fixed asset investment picking up.

Oil lurched lower on Tuesday with US crude extending its longest losing streak on record and eyeing its worst day in over two and a half years.

UK-based life insurer Prudential said its profits from new business rose by 17 per cent in the first nine months of the year, driven by record performances in some of its Asian operations.

The rented housing group Grainger is to buy out the Dutch pension fund APG from a joint venture in a £396m expansion of its property portfolio.

15 November

Bank Indonesia raised interest rates for the sixth time this year on Thursday despite expectations it would keep its powder dry, after a surprise jump in imports expanded the country’s trade deficit in October and once again brought its current account deficit into focus.

The average first-time buyer in the UK will fork out an annual £11,500 in mortgage payments by 2023, up from just under £8,000 today, as rising interest rates increase the cost of home ownership.

Ineos Enterprises, the privately owned chemicals group, is buying the composites business of US-based Ashland Global Holdings for $1.1bn.

The Australian dollar jumped on Thursday after data showed the number of full-time hires in October had more than doubled from the previous month.

16 November

The US and China have intensified efforts to strike a truce at the G20 that would curb their trade war. Negotiators stepped up efforts after Donald Trump, US president, and Xi Jinping, his Chinese counterpart, spoke on the phone on November 1 and agreed to discuss trade when they meet on the G20 sidelines. The summit opens in Buenos Aires on November 30.

Nintendo’s shares fell more than 10 per cent on Friday, the largest drop since 2016, after Daiwa Securities cut its target price for the stock.

One-third of new DIY investors are opting for automated online investment apps — so-called “robo advisers” — instead of fund supermarkets such as Hargreaves Lansdown, as demand for low-cost investment services grows.

Sterling tumbled, the shares of companies exposed to the UK economy fell and government bonds rallied after Brexit secretary Dominic Raab’s resignation intensified concern over whether Theresa May will be able to steer her Brexit deal through parliament.

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