Week 04 2018

Week 04 2018

22 January – 26 January


22 January


Southeast Asian governments are poised to introduce taxes on ecommerce sales as they look to claim their fiscal take from one of their most vibrant engines of growth.


Björn Gulden describes Puma as “the fastest sports brand in the world”. Yet when it comes to his company’s performance, the chief executive stresses one thing above all else: patience.


Netflix reports fourth-quarter earnings results. Its shares rose by more than 50 per cent last year, as its subscribers exceeded 100m, but to sustain that momentum it will need to show that growth can be profitable too.


There are now more than 70 times as many stock market indices as there are quoted stocks in the world, according to a groundbreaking survey by the Index Industry Association. A census of its members found that they publish and regularly re-calculate 3.28m indices, of which 3.14m cover stock markets. According to the World Bank, there are only 43,192 public companies in existence.


23 January


BitFlyer, the Tokyo-based operator of one of the world’s largest bitcoin exchanges, is expanding into Europe after receiving regulatory approval, as the infrastructure that supports cryptocurrency trading continues to grow off the back of the recent boom.


Adobe has become only the fourth software company in history to see its stock market value top $100bn, after it disclosed the expected effects of the Trump tax cuts on its future earnings.


South Korea has responded quickly and forcefully to a US decision to slap tariffs on imported washing machines and solar panels, with officials in the east Asian nation seeking to reinstate levies on imported American products.


The pound broke the psychological level of $1.40 on Tuesday in Asia Pacific trading, securing its return to levels it traded in the run-up to Brexit and establishing the currency as one of the strongest performers so far in 2018. 


24 January


General Electric, the US industrial group, capped off a bruising year with earnings that were below expectations for the fourth quarter of 2017, hit by continuing problems in its division making equipment for the power generation industry.


Comcast’s fourth-quarter revenue and profits topped Wall Street’s estimates thanks to growth in its cable and broadband business and its NBCUniversal media arm and the US’s sweeping tax overhaul.


Inflationary pressures are rising in France and businesses are increasingly willing to pass higher costs on to their customers, according to a closely watched survey that will make welcome reading for policymakers at the European Central Bank ahead of Thursday’s monetary policy meeting.


Less than three months ago, Spain was facing a secession crisis in Catalonia — yet investors were unfazed by any political risk on Tuesday as they flocked to the Iberian nation’s latest sale of debt.


25 January


Gold miners are headed for their best week in nearly five months on the back of a sharp jump in the yellow metal.


Southwest Airlines’ profits more than tripled during the fourth quarter as it reaped the benefit of a large exceptional gain as a result of US tax reforms.


Hyundai Motors saw its annual operating income tumble 11.9 per cent in 2017 amid a tough foreign reserve environment and slower demand from China as diplomatic tensions over a US missile shield in South Korea dented sales. 


Saudi Arabia’s energy minister took a rare sideways swipe at the International Energy Agency on Wednesday, accusing the body of overhyping the impact of US shale growth on the oil market.


26 January


Justin Woolverton, the founder of Halo Top ice-cream, has heard the question before. Asked whether Unilever has tried to acquire the low-sugar, high-protein brand that has enjoyed explosive growth in the US, he sighs: “I think we’ve been approached by every major player and every private equity firm in the [United] States, to be honest with you.”


Adam Neumann, chief executive of the co-working company WeWork, pitches himself as the boss of a Silicon Valley tech start-up. In conferences and talks, the 38-year-old Israeli often appears in black shirts and speaks — like Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg — of “bringing people together”.


Industrial profits at large firms in China rose 21 per cent in 2017, more than doubling their pace of ascent from 2016 to notch the fastest growth in six years as cuts to overcapacity helped bolster prices at the factory gate. But December’s monthly reading hinted at slower growth in the months ahead.


The dollar is once again on its back foot with traders mulling differing statements from Donald Trump and other senior US officials on America’s stance on the dollar.