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News

04 September – 08 September

04 September

Moody’s has lifted its growth forecast for the Polish economy, as high domestic demand and a strengthening fiscal position help the country outpace much of Europe despite earlier warnings that the controversial Law and Justice government would hold back growth.

A car-booking app backed by China’s Didi Chuxing is opening in London with the aim of taking thousands of drivers and passengers away from Uber.

Investors welcomed a rare London biotech IPO on Monday, with shares in newly-listed Destiny Pharma climbing as much as 44 per cent on their first day of trading.

US benchmark petrol prices slid more than 4 per cent on Monday as refineries began to gradually restart operations after tropical storm Harvey struck the heart of the country’s energy sector.

05 September

Hong Kong blue-chip Wharf Holdings climbed almost 6 per cent on Tuesday after it submitted a listing application for a proposed spinoff of its landmark properties in the city.

The end of an era for the Silicon Fen. The £3bn takeover of Cambridge’s Aveva Group, which the group confirmed this morning, marks a big moment for one of the UK’s most successful startup clusters, as it becomes the last of the city’s one-time unicorns to be sold into foreign ownership.

Mattioli Woods, the wealth manager and employee benefits business, has reported a 17.4 per cent increase in annual revenue, boosted by continuing demand for advice in the face of volatile markets.

Pandas do not hibernate but the dim sum market just might. Bankers’ penchant for catchy names for Asian bonds, from pandas and dim sum to kangas and masala, can invite some strained metaphors.

06 September

The Bank of Canada raised its benchmark interest rate by a quarter of a percentage point on Wednesday, adding to a rate increase in July amid robust growth in the North American country’s economy.

The UK’s largest housebuilder, Barratt Developments, pushed up pre-tax profits by 12 per cent in the year to June, boosted by rising house prices and growing margins.

Gazprom has signalled the initial volume it will supply to China when the new trans-Siberian gas pipeline comes online in 2020.
Equity indices fell in Asia Pacific as financial stocks tracked their Wall Street counterparts lower, while gasoline and oil prices dipped further as refineries in the US continued to come back online.

07 September

German industrial production failed to improve in July, remaining flat after swinging to an unexpected loss in June in a poor start to the quarter for a sector that accounts for nearly a third of the country’s economy.

Markets in Asia Pacific rose on Thursday following news that President Donald Trump had reached an agreement with Democratic congressional leaders for a short-term extension to the US debt ceiling.

Facebook has found that “inauthentic” Russian actors bought $100,000 worth of advertisements on the social network over the past two years, amid investigations into allegations of Russian efforts to influence the US presidential election.

UK house prices climbed more than forecast last month, supported by strength in the labour market and low supplies of homes on the market, according to a report released on Thursday.

08 September

Renewed optimism in AstraZeneca’s cancer treatment pipeline helped push the drugmaker to its biggest gain in four months on Thursday.

Australian home lending in July beat analyst expectations while the value of lending to investors slipped.

Nestlé and Unilever have sought to respond to rapidly changing consumer tastes with separate purchases of two niche companies in voguish consumer goods sectors.

Uber has launched a £150m “clean air” fund to help tackle air pollution in London and across the UK over the next five years, in response to the UK government’s diesel and petrol ban.

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28 August – 01 September

28 August

Donald Trump has revived his threat to pull the US out of the North American Free Trade Agreement in recent days and as officials get ready to gather in Mexico City later this week for round two of the renegotiations now under way, that raises three questions.

AstraZeneca, the UK drugmaker, is set to proceed with improvements at its Cheshire manufacturing facility, having said a month ago that Brexit meant it had to pause before undertaking new investment.

CBS Corporation has agreed to buy Australia’s Ten Network, establishing a beachhead Down Under for the US broadcaster.

European stocks drifted lower as the euro hovered around fresh highs against the dollar on a quiet morning of trading on Monday, after central bank chiefs at last week’s Jackson Hole symposium did little to reverse the currency’s recent momentum.

29 August

US home prices rose at a steady clip in June, according to a closely watched report, highlighting how a strong labour market and a low supply of homes for sale has put pressure on pricing.

A record 74 per cent of Japanese are satisfied with their lives, and, for the first time in two decades, a majority are content with their income, says a Cabinet Office survey.

Indonesia has reached an agreement with US copper miner Freeport-McMoran to allow the company to keep operating its giant Grasberg mine in the country.

The Renault-Nissan Alliance has announced a new joint venture with Dongfeng Motor to develop and sell electric vehicles in China in the latest tie-up between western and Chinese carmakers to tap China’s electric car market.

30 August

The UK’s annual growth rate of consumer credit dropped below double-digits for the first time since April 2016 during July, according to the latest money and debt statistics published by the Bank of England on Wednesday.

The dollar is heading for its longest monthly losing streak in 14 years despite staging a recovery late on Tuesday, as concerns about tropical storm Harvey’s impact on the US economy combined with fresh tensions over North Korea to push bond yields lower.

European equities opened higher and government bond yields edged up as markets rediscovered their appetite for risk, despite lingering concerns over North Korea’s missile launch yesterday.

Hyundai Motor has resumed production at its China factories, days after it was halted over a payment dispute.

31 August

The number of employed Italians has risen above 23m for the first time since 2008, boosting hopes that the recovery in the eurozone’s third-largest economy is gathering pace.

Equities markets were mixed in Asia Pacific trading, with Hong Kong breaking form from recent gains as shares in Tokyo and Sydney climbed.

Two explosions and black smoke emanated from a flooded chemicals plant near Houston, its operator disclosed early on Thursday.

Shares in Alfa Financial surged 7.6 per cent to £4.65 after the specialist software company beat expectations to post sparkling maiden results on Thursday.

01 September

South Korea’s manufacturing sector declined for a second straight month in August – albeit barely – as foreign exchange movements drove a sharp increase in input costs, according to an industry gauge.

Taiwan’s manufacturing sector expanded at its fastest rate in five months in August as new orders were boosted by sharp increase in new export business.

Shares UK pharmaceuticals group Indivior dropped more by more than a third on Friday morning, after the company warned that a ruling by a US court had cleared the way for new competitors to its main product that could wipe out the majority of its market share.

When hurricanes Katrina and Rita tore into the Gulf of Mexico coast in 2005, the US was importing the most foreign oil in its history. Petrol prices soared, allies released emergency fuel stocks and President George W Bush urged Americans to drive less.

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21 August – 25 August

21 August

Asset managers Union Investment, Erste and Acadian, have banned investments in German carmakers from some of their funds, after an investigation of alleged industry collusion was announced.

Janet Yellen, chair of the US Federal Reserve, has promised that the unwinding of the Federal Reserve’s bloated balance sheet “will be the policy equivalent of watching paint dry”.

Chinese carmaker Great Wall has expressed interest in buying Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, the company said on Monday.

British politics may have receded as a risk factor in the eyes of many in the markets, but traders should expect a revival in the coming weeks according to strategists at HSBC, who are shorting sterling.

22 August

Indonesia’s central bank cut its benchmark interest rate on Tuesday for the first time almost a year, as falling inflation gives the bank more scope to try to boost economic growth.

A one-two punch of slowing beauty sector growth and looming competition from Amazon has investors inching away from beauty retailer Ulta ahead of its earnings report later this week.

Japan Tobacco has announced it will buy the Philippines’s second-largest tobacco producer in a deal worth nearly $1bn in the company’s second Southeast Asia-focused deal in less than a month.

The world’s biggest sovereign wealth fund outperformed its benchmark to deliver a return of 2.6 per cent in the second quarter.

23 August

Inflation in South Africa fell further than expected for a second month in a row in July, supporting the central bank’s recent decision to cut interest rates in an effort to pull Africa’s most industrialised economy out of recession.

Game Digital said it is “accelerating” its push into esports and other video gaming events, as the struggling retailer unveiled a 5 per cent fall in full-year revenues.

Independent News & Media, the Irish media group controlled by the businessman Denis O’Brien, has reported a near 20 per cent decline in first half profits amid “continued revenue challenges”.

Asia Pacific currencies were down against the dollar to varying degrees on Wednesday ahead of this week’s gathering of central bankers in Jackson Hole. The New Zealand dollar was the worst performer in the region, off as much as 0.7 per cent at $0.7232 after the New Zealand Treasury lowered its growth estimate for the year to June to 3.5 per cent from 3.7 per cent.

24 August

Norway’s oil industry caught up with the rest of the country’s economy in the second quarter, helping overall economic growth to rebound much more strongly than economists had predicted.

Double-digit sales growth at J Crew’s Madewell stores wasn’t enough to save the preppy fashion retailer from chalking up another quarterly loss.

Greencore, the UK’s biggest sandwich maker, has moved to quell investor angst over its falling share price by insisting that its recent acquisition of a US food company is working as planned.

The price of soyabean oil jumped on the US government’s preliminary ruling that Argentina and Indonesia were allegedly subsidising their biodiesel exporters.

25 August

The pace of core consumer inflation in Japan picked up in July after a month in which price growth appeared to lose momentum.

Aston Martin has raised its annual forecasts for the second time this year after posting six months of record profits, as the luxury carmaker races towards a potential stock market listing.

Stalling business investment across the UK economy has failed to derail growth at FTSE 250 IT provider Computacenter, whose chief executive said he has “never been more optimistic” after the company beat its own already-upgraded forecasts in the first half.

Americans’ love affair with bargains helped power Dollar Tree and Burlington Stores shares sharply higher on Thursday before they lost momentum later in the day.

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14 August – 18 August

14 August

Official gauges of retail sales, industrial production and fixed asset investment in China started the third quarter on a downbeat note, with all three decelerating more than expected in July after outperforming in June.

Share-price swings at Snap continued into another week on Monday after restrictions on employee stock sales were lifted, triggering a sell-off.

The UK’s largest fund supermarket Hargreaves Lansdown confirmed a 21 per cent boost to pre-tax profits amid continued popularity among retail investors.

Investors increased bets that the US dollar will decline further after its worst seven-month start to a year in three decades with disappointing inflation figures expected to keep a lid on the pace of Federal Reserve rate increases.

15 August

Germany’s economic growth slowed slightly in the second quarter of the year but still showed its best year-on-year rate since 2014 as the country heads for elections next month.

Supermarket group J Sainsbury has put on hold talks over a potential £130m takeover of convenience store wholesaler Nisa until UK competition regulators rule on a similar deal between Tesco and Booker.

McDonald’s has struck a deal to place restaurants in Evergrande’s residential complexes in China.

The currency markets have shown little if any response to the news that the UK will seek a transitional arrangement of some kind to cover customs after the country leaves the EU.

16 August

China has reclaimed its position as America’s biggest creditor, displacing Japan as the top holder of US Treasuries according to fresh data from the US government.

Amazon sealed the year’s fourth-largest corporate bond sale on Tuesday as the technology and online retail group locked in $16bn to fund its takeover of premium grocer Whole Foods.*

Activist investor Elliott has revealed it holds a 5 per cent stake in BHP Billiton PLC, the mining group it has heavily criticised for its decision to enter the fertiliser market and bump up spending on its US oil business.

Next was a faller on Tuesday after Berenberg predicted a “Kodak moment” for the retailer. “We believe Next is burdened by its overspaced store estate, which restricts its ability to invest in areas that matter most to the consumer — product and free home delivery, leading to market share erosion,” said Berenberg. “While it was quick to recognise the online opportunity, it has failed to fully adapt its business model, instead focusing on short-term cash flow and profitability.”

17 August

The number of Americans filing for first-time jobless benefits fell last week to the lowest level since February, underscoring the tightening of the American labour market.

Cisco Systems shares slid in extended trading after the networks equipment maker forecast revenues would drop in its current quarter — the eighth straight quarterly drop.

For companies reliant on the US consumer, taking a position on anything said or done by the present incumbent of the White House risks exposing them to fury online — from both sides.

The value of foreign mergers and acquisitions by Chinese companies has almost halved this year, as Beijing’s restrictions on capital outflows appear to hold back overseas dealmaking.

18 August

The pace of growth in Taiwan’s economy slowed in the second quarter, but it still came in slightly ahead of expectations as improved production and export figures provided a lift.

Kingfisher has reported a slide in second-quarter revenues after it was hit by disruption from a restructuring and as sales at its B&Q chain fell sharply due to a drop in demand for seasonal products, such as garden furniture.

Walmart’s digital investments continued to pay off in its latest quarter, lifting sales for the world’s largest retailer as it battles with Amazon for dominance of shopping.
European stocks are lower on Friday, with the Stoxx 600 falling 0.8 per cent, as a global flight from riskier assets on the back of political turmoil in the US rumbles on. The continent’s banking stocks are softer as bond yields fall and the travel and leisure sector sub-index dips 1.3 per cent following terrorist incidents in Spain.

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07 August – 11 August

07 August

So is Donald Trump really about to trigger that trade war with China? That was certainly the fear emanating from Washington last week when news emerged that the White House was engaged in serious discussions over using another long-dormant trade tool — Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 — to retaliate against China over its controversial intellectual property policies.

The founder of Otkritie, Russia’s largest privately held financial group, is returning to lead the company after growing concerns about its performance saw it lose more than Rbs100bn ($1.7bn) in deposits in a month.

Tencent is developing a credit scoring system as it ramps up its battle with rival Alibaba for a share of China’s $5.5tn mobile payments market.

Oil began the week in the red, but one analyst cautions that prices could rebound by the end of the week when attention shifts away from a two-day meeting of Opec and non-Opec members in Abu Dhabi.

08 August

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis president James Bullard has argued for leaving interest rates unchanged , saying that even if the unemployment rate continues to fall the effects on inflation are “likely to be small”.

Nissan and NEC have agreed to sell their rechargeable electric battery joint venture to a Chinese private equity firm, providing both companies with an exit from an industry that, although popular because of rising demand for electric vehicles, is capital-intensive.

British American Tobacco lit up US capital markets on Tuesday. The cigarette manufacturer was preparing to borrow at least $15bn from investors in a US dollar-denominated corporate bond, according to three people involved in the sale.

Equity investors seeking to capitalise on India’s surging economic growth have a new asset class to consider as the country’s fast-expanding life insurers hit the stock market.

09 August

The Hong Kong dollar jumped more than a cent against its US counterpart in minutes on Wednesday after the city’s de facto central bank fired a warning shot across the bows of those betting on rapid further weakening.

Walt Disney will launch a standalone ESPN sports streaming subscription next year and a separate video service for its films in 2019, neither of which will require a pay-television subscription.

Last week, the 90th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Liberation Army dominated coverage on state-controlled media. It was celebrated in the traditional fashion with parades and displays of the latest — and increasingly Chinese-sourced — armaments.

British American Tobacco tapped investors for $17.25bn on Tuesday in the second largest corporate bond deal of the year, as low borrowing costs and a fierce appetite for debt help persuade companies to lever up.

10 August

Economic growth in the UK appears to be losing a little momentum, weighed down by a sluggish performance in the services sector, according to estimates from the National Institute of Economic and Social Research.

The West Midlands rail franchise has been awarded to a joint venture between East Japan Railway Company, Abellio and Mitsui.

Fast-growing revenues are slowing and margins are slipping at Zalando, the German online fashion retailer.

The Swiss franc led a rally among haven assets across global markets on Wednesday as investors retreated from equities in the wake of escalating rhetoric between North Korea and the US.

11 August

US consumer price growth remained soft in July, ticking slightly higher while missing analysts’ forecasts and underscoring concerns about inflation that has persistently lagged the Federal Reserve’s target.

Top-line growth and upbeat comments on current quarter trading from JC Penney did little to assuage investor jitters over shrinking margins in the beleaguered retail sector.

Zinc has been the darling over the base metals markets over the past year. It has risen 30 per cent and is set to test $3,000 a tonne, according to Evy Hambro, Blackrock’s influential mining investor.

Australian gold miners were among the best performing stocks on the S&P/ASX 200 on Friday as the price of the yellow metal hovered at a nine-week high amid tensions between the United States and North Korea.

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31 July – 04 August

31 July

Eurozone unemployment fell to its lowest level in eight years in June, while a key inflation figure picked up to its fastest pace since 2013 in July, underscoring the gathering momentum of the bloc’s economic expansion.

Asian currencies were mixed on Monday as strong industrial data out of Japan helped push the country’s currency to its strongest level in six weeks.

Apple has removed from its Chinese app store applications that enable users to bypass China’s “Great Firewall”, in a move that developers have condemned as “censorship”.

If you drive one of the 1.7m cars built in the UK last year it is likely the power steering on the vehicle was manufactured in Germany; the electronic control units came via Romania; and the shock absorbers travelled all the way from Poland. Indeed, more than half the 30,000 components in an average British-made car come from somewhere else.

01 August

Australia’s central bank held interest rates steady as expected on Tuesday. The Reserve Bank of Australia held its cash rate target at 1.5 per cent at its August meeting, in line with the median forecast from from economists surveyed by Reuters.

Indonesia’s manufacturing sector shrank at the fastest pace in a year in July as factory output saw the sharpest fall in 19 months.

Tuesday’s market moves are not matching the events in the White House for drama, but they are leaving the dollar looking hobbled around a broad range of notable lows.

Solid sales of its motorcycles and weakness in the yen provided Honda’s earnings with a boost in the first quarter and have prompted the vehicle maker to lift its full-year forecasts.

02 August

India’s central bank lowered its benchmark interest rate to a six-and-a-half-year low of 6 per cent on Wednesday, down from 6.25 per cent, after a drop in consumer prices and an overall slowdown in economic growth.

US private sector jobs creation grew at a slower but still solid pace in July, with all sectors, bar manufacturing, adding to their hiring.

The New Zealand dollar fell half a per cent against its US counterpart on Wednesday after second-quarter employment came in lower than expected.

Diagnostics company Illumina saw its shares climb in after-hours trading after it raised its revenue growth forecast due to stronger-than-expected demand for its NovaSeq sequencing platform and posted quarterly earnings above Wall Street forecasts.

03 August

Deutsche Telekom has booked a fresh €1.1bn writedown in the value of its stake in BT, undermining solid results from the German telco.

Axa chief executive Thomas Buberl has said that the company’s focus on cover for SMEs has allowed it to escape the worst of the price pressure in the commercial insurance world.

Persistent uncertainty over the UK’s future relationship with the EU is holding back business investment and household spending, Mark Carney warned on Thursday, as the Bank of England cut its growth forecasts and left interest rates unchanged.

US equities opened slightly lower on Thursday, pulling back a bit after the Dow Jones Industrial Average breached 22,000 for the first time on Wednesday.

04 August

Shake Shack reported a drop in sales at restaurants open more than two years on Thursday and warned that sales at those restaurants would decline further this year as the high-end hamburger chain sees fewer customers walk through those doors.

Kraft Heinz reported earnings that topped expectations in the second quarter but said sales fell, as the packaged-food company behind Jell-O and Heinz ketchup deals with an industry-wide adjustment to more health-conscious customers.*

Consumer prices in the Philippines broadly rose in line with expectations last month, but grew at the slowest pace in nearly a year when excluding fuel and food prices.

Euroboom is firing on all cylinders. A strengthening eurozone economy, expectations of monetary policy tightening, and tumbles in the US dollar have all combined to propel the euro to its strongest level in three years.

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24 July – 28 July

24 July

The Federal Reserve is likely this week to signal that it is staying on course for tighter monetary policy, as supportive financial markets and robust corporate hiring trump concerns about surprisingly weak inflation.

Saudi Arabia and Russia have threatened to escalate a brewing oil dispute to the highest levels of government, as frustration with countries who have failed to cut production in line with an Opec-led supply deal starts to spill over.

Shares in Burberry jumped almost 2 per cent on Monday afternoon after Belgian billionaire Albert Frère boosted his stake in the luxury retailer from 3 per cent to 4 per cent.

Executives at Citigroup are expected to hang an attempt to improve industry-trailing returns in part on the US bank’s credit card and Mexico operations at its first investor day in nine years.

25 July

Two of the UK’s biggest bookmakers significantly increased the amount they spent on entertaining MPs as the government came under pressure to take action against the gambling industry.

EasyJet was caught in the chill winds of Ryanair’s warning of a late-summer price war among Europe’s short-haul carriers with shares sliding across the sector.

A restructuring by acquisitive Chinese conglomerate HNA has moved the ownership of a 29.5 per cent stake from a mysterious Chinese investor to a New York-registered non-profit, adding to the questions surrounding the governance of the company.

Caterpillar boosted its sales and profits forecast for a second time this year, spurring optimism that its business is on track for a sustained revival following years of weak demand for its iconic yellow machines.

26 July

Two years ago Wolfgang Schäuble said “it would be better” for Greece to leave the eurozone. But in rare praise this week Germany’s steely finance minister struck a much warmer note.

What had looked like persistent strength for the Aussie dollar today, even after drab inflation data, now appears to be melting away after a speech from the Reserve Bank of Australia’s governor suggested the central bank would take no cues from its counterparts’ recent tightening.

Chipmaker AMD shares jumped by as much as 8 per cent in after-hours trading as strong sales of its new processors beat Wall Street forecasts and it upgraded its outlook.
After the recent launch of its new Ryzen processors for desktop PCs and Vega graphics processors, which are popular with videogamers as well as cryptocurrency miners, AMD saw its second-quarter revenues rise by 19 per cent to $1.22bn, better than the $1.16bn expected by analysts.

It will not be too long before the term “Abenomics” will join “Cool Britannia”, “the end of history” and “Brics” in the cupboard of cast-offs: ideas that once had thrilling, zeitgeisty chic, but are now too threadbare to be worn in public.

27 July

In the run-up to last year’s referendum on membership of the EU, the Remain campaign and a host of independent forecasters warned that a Leave vote would inflict immediate pain to the economy.

The more sombre mood over the UK economic outlook is expected to keep sterling traders in a similar frame of mind for the remainder of the quarter, with analysts forecasting that any Brexit developments are unlikely to shift the currency from its narrow range.

Ford told investors to expect a decline in pre-tax profits for the full year, its first guidance under the new chief executive Jim Hackett, as the automaker adjusts to the weakest market for US car sales since the financial crisis.

Emma Walmsley’s first big decision as chief executive of GlaxoSmithKline, to judge by most media reports, was selling the pharma group’s Horlicks drinks brand. But any notion that a background in marketing L’Oréal cosmetics made her more of a brand strategist than a scientist was neatly dispelled on Wednesday.

28 July

The rate of US growth picked up steam but wage growth undershot estimates, underscoring the economy’s recent patchy performance.

The Swiss franc weakened further against the euro on Friday, dropping for a fourth consecutive day to its lowest level since the country’s central bank removed its upper limit at the start of 2015.

Amazon on Thursday issued a rosy sales outlook for the current quarter, but an earnings miss sent shares in the e-commerce behemoth lower in extended trading.

Back in 2006, a swaps trader sent a jubilant message to a counterpart at Barclays who had just salvaged his interest rate trading position by helping to rig the daily Libor rate. He said: “Dude. I owe you big time! Come over one day after work and I’m opening a bottle of Bollinger”.

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17 July – 21 July

17 July

Asia Pacific markets were mixed on Monday as Chinese stocks took a sharp fall ahead of the country’s second quarter gross domestic product data and the dollar languished at a 10-month low following Friday’s US inflation and retail sales figures.

Insurance should be a byword for calm amid a crisis. The industry prides itself on its ability to cope with the worst of times.

The boom in borrowing for UK university accommodation is helping to spearhead the return of a niche form of credit insurance that fell out of favour after many of the companies providing it blew up during the financial crisis.

The issue of Germany’s crumbling infrastructure has taken centre stage in campaigning for September’s election after Martin Schulz, leader of the Social Democrats, vowed to pour billions into schools, roads and fast broadband.

18 July

Greek bonds have rallied to post-crisis highs this week as the country eyes the prospect of a return to the debt markets for the first time in three years.

A transition from fossil fuels to mitigate the impacts of climate change will require large amounts of metals and rare earth elements that could create environmental challenges, the World Bank has warned.

Almost $1.3bn has been raised so far this year by start-up technology companies via “initial coin offerings”, the blockchain community’s version of crowdfunding, according to a new report from Autonomous, the financial research provider.

Ecuador has raised oil production above its Opec target due to the economic situation in the country, risking a schism with the cartel and other big producers as their output cuts struggle to prop up the crude price.

19 July

It’s the morning after a long, dark session for the dollar and the world’s reserve currency is finding support. The sharp slide in the dollar looks to have taken it too far, at least ahead of Thursday’s brace of monetary policy meetings — at the Bank of Japan and the European Central Bank — which could spark further volatility.

Asia Pacific markets were broadly improving on Wednesday as Australian equities rallied on news of favourable financial rules.

Azerbaijan’s biggest bank has begun preparations to be sold to private investors next year after completing a $3.3bn debt restructuring, according to its chairman.

Netflix executives are hitting bonus targets with almost uncanny accuracy, raising questions among investors and tax experts over whether they are a fait accompli.

20 July

Japan’s exports and imports rose more quickly than expected in June as the country scrambled out of a trade deficit from the previous month.

As leading carmakers aim to electrify their models and Tesla’s Model 3 rolls off the production line, investors are looking to increase their exposure to copper, betting that the advent of battery-powered vehicles will boost prices and demand for the metal.

Shares in British companies that charge customers high fees to pay by debit and credit card fell after the government said that such charges would be made illegal from next year.

Mothercare made further progress with its turnround plan in the UK during the first quarter of the new financial year, but the baby and child retailer had to rely on the weak pound to protect it from falling a sharp drop in overseas sales.

21 July

Inflation forecasts in the eurozone have been cut in a survey of private sector economists carried out by the European Central Bank, underscoring policymakers’ difficulties in stoking prices pressures even as the recovery takes grip.

Asia Pacific equities fell on Friday as the US dollar hovered at 11-month lows and the euro held at a two-year high achieved on Thursday as the market digested comments from the European Central Bank’s president.

Philip Morris International’s cigarette sales in Japan have fallen by a quarter in a year as smokers switched to “heat not burn” sticks, making it one of the starkest examples of the shift to supposedly safer tobacco products.

Sales growth at French luxury house Hermès slowed in the three months ending in June but the group said on Friday that it expected its first-half operating profitability to be near the peak it achieved in the first half of last year.

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10 July – 14 July

10 July

There has been much talk in the wake of the G20 summit that concluded on Saturday about Donald Trump’s isolation and the loss of US leadership. So it’s worth asking what that might mean for the future of global business.

Which came first: the rally in emerging markets, or the boom in their tech stocks? The sector has become the biggest single grouping in emerging markets this year for the first time since the dotcom boom. Cue several as-yet unsuccessful efforts to label EM techs with a catchy equivalent to the US FANGs (Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google). But simply equating the sector with hot US tech rivals sells it short: hardware, as well as internet enthusiasm, is driving this rally.

Abercrombie & Fitch shares extended their fall by mid-morning and were on track for their biggest one-day drop in nearly 17 years after the retailer said it had “terminated” talks on a possible merge.

Dublin is the top destination of the leading financial services companies that have already made statements on where they plan to set up their post-Brexit EU bases, a report from EY reveals.

11 July

Size isn’t everything, unless, of course, you are talking about returns. European small-cap and mid-cap companies had a strong run in the first half, when returns reached 10.3 per cent, notes Credit Suisse. Since then, a weaker showing in June has created a buying opportunity, according to analysis from the bank.

Google is grappling with how to make sure artificial intelligence benefits humans more than it hinders them, as the powerful new technology starts to permeate all of its services.

An industrial transformation is under way. The world’s leading companies that for decades have made catalysts that cut harmful and toxic emissions in vehicle exhausts are switching focus. Their aim: to become key players in powering the electric cars of the future.

Ben Broadbent, the Bank of Engalnd’s deputy governor for monetary policy, declined to reveal his thinking on interest rates while giving a speech on Tuesday in Scotland.

12 July

The Bank of Canada lifted its benchmark lending rate on Wednesday for the first time since 2010, reacting to rapid job growth and buoyant property prices, in the latest sign that global policymakers feel comfortable peeling away stimulus measures.

Lerado Financial Group, a securities firm linked to the “Enigma” network of small-cap stocks, has warned the spectacular crashes suffered last month by members of the 50-strong group will cost it $42m.

For much of the past two decades Pearson has been selling off some of its highly prized assets to reposition the one-time conglomerate as a pure education business. Château Latour, Madame Tussauds, Lazard Brothers, FTSE International and the Financial Times have been disposed of in pursuit of a strategy put in place by Dame Marjorie Scardino and now being overseen by her successor as chief executive, John Fallon.

Toshiba has revived negotiations with Western Digital, Foxconn and other potential buyers of its prized memory chip business, according to bankers, as fissures deepen within the preferred bidding consortium and a row over the legality of the auction comes to a head.

13 July

Beijing may currently favour megamergers when it comes to reform of state-owned enterprises, but at least one central bank adviser is suggesting a different approach to dealing with China’s lossmaking zombie companies.

Off a side street, at the edge of an industrial estate in south London, around a broken Ikea desk in a serviced office cluttered with cardboard boxes, an analyst was pitching ideas for potentially worthless investments.

Royal Dutch Shell has raised a further $1.23bn in support of its debt-reduction drive with a deal to sell its stake in Ireland’s Corrib gas field to a Canadian pension fund.

Net income at Uniqlo owner Fast Retailing came up short in the third quarter as domestic sales at said flagship retail chain fell.

14 July

US consumer sentiment has edged lower in July, as expectations of long-term future economic prospects continued to decline despite growing confidence in the current state of affairs.

Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox has declined to table a new offer to protect the editorial independence of Sky News, almost certainly triggering a full inquiry by the British competition authorities into the US media group’s £11.7bn takeover of satellite broadcaster Sky.

Vamos! The rally in the Mexican peso showed little sign of slowing on Friday, with the currency set to log its biggest weekly gain since late January.

Sterling rallied to a near 10-month high on Friday as investors are cheered by the British government’s constructive tone over its Brexit divorce bill ahead of a new round of talks with the EU next week.

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03 July – 07 July

03 July

Donald Trump’s trade threats are causing an unexpected reaction among America’s G20 peers, according to a study that finds the world’s other leading economies are taking fewer protectionist moves than in recent years even as the US erects more trade barriers.

China and Hong Kong have launched a bond trading link that brings the world’s third-largest debt market one step closer to widespread acceptance in international investors’ portfolios.

It might sound like a strange complaint against an industry often accused of scrimping on research to fund marketing efforts, but some executives and scientists say drugmakers are doing too many clinical trials in the hot new field of immunotherapy.

A consortium led by France’s Total is set to sign a multi-billion-dollar gas deal with Iran, the Islamic republic’s first major energy contract with a European oil company in more than a decade as transatlantic differences over relations with the country deepen.

04 July

Bond investors are anticipating a slower pace of debt sales from European governments over the rest of the year, potentially providing some support for prices if the European Central Bank does begin to unwind its stimulus programme.

Wall Street benchmarks made progress thanks to the longest streak of gains for crude oil in more than five years, lifting energy stocks, The price of Brent and West Texas Intermediate oil — the international, North Sea and US crude benchmarks respectively — both climbed for an eighth day running on Monday, putting Brent within touching distance of $50 a barrel again. That is the longest run of uninterrupted gains since February 2012.

Jia Meng issued a profits warning on Monday. The Hong Kong-listed mattress maker gained notoriety last week as a member of a 50-strong network of small-cap companies that hold each others’ shares — dubbed “Enigma” — that plunged as much as 90 per cent without notice, erasing $6bn in capitalisation in minutes.

Lotte Group, South Korea’s fifth-biggest family-owned conglomerate, has cut the price range for a revived initial public offering of its Malaysian petrochemicals unit amid weaker investor appetite.

05 July

An independent gauge of China’s services activity showed the pace of growth in the sector slipping last month, exerting a drag on overall economic expansion despite a rebound in manufacturing activity.

US stock exchange operator Nasdaq rejected blame for a data-feed error that radically altered the share prices of household names such as Apple and Amazon in after-hours trading the day before Wall Street closed for the US Independence day holiday.

Volvo Cars announced that every model from 2019 onwards would have an electric motor, making it the first traditional carmaker to call time on vehicles powered solely by an internal combustion engine.

Nappies for grown-ups, glue, a source of energy, and even building blocks for student housing in Norway and flats in London’s Elephant & Castle district — these are just four of the different ways of using wood that the forestry industry is pushing as it looks for growth.

06 July

True Religion filed for bankruptcy protection on Wednesday, as the pioneer of designer denim struggles to adapt to a generational shift in shopping habits.

European and Japanese leaders confirmed that they have reached a political agreement on a free-trade deal to liberalise markets from dairy products to car parts.

Asian equities were enduring a directionless morning session on Thursday as benchmarks in the region were weighed on by energy stocks falling in reaction to an oil price slide during the previous session.

As a former Goldman Sachs partner and executive at SFR, France’s second-largest telecoms operator, as well as Alcatel-Lucent, the telecoms equipment maker, Jean Raby had already racked up the air miles. But he was unprepared for the amount of jetting around needed in his new role as chief executive of Natixis Global Asset Management, the sprawling, multi-faceted French investment group.

07 July

Industrial production in Spain smashed expectations in May, according to official data, echoing recent surveys that have suggested the sector is in rude health and making it the third major eurozone economy this morning to report better than expected figures.

Twelve days after completing the biggest takeover in its history — the $18bn acquisition of baby milk group Mead Johnson — Reckitt Benckiser found itself with a far bigger problem than how to integrate the IT systems of the US company with its own.

A senior Federal Reserve official has warned the US faces a “now or never moment” when it comes to reforming its housing finance system, warning the country remains mired in an unsustainable position where taxpayers are being put at risk by giant, government-backed agencies.

Tesla Motors and now Volvo may have big plans to end the addiction of drivers to fossil fuels via electric vehicles, however the environmental footprint of mining raw materials used in car batteries and their eventual disposal are emerging as a flash point.

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