Week 10 2017

Week 10 2017

06 March – 10 March


06 March


Politicians are taking over from central bankers as the most important influences on investors’ behaviour after an era in which interest-rate setters appeared to tower over the global economic order, a leading financial organisation has concluded.


Greece’s economy has turned a corner after seven years of recession and could pick up speed provided the leftwing Syriza government quickly wraps up a much-delayed review of the current €86bn bailout, according to Yannis Stournaras, the central bank governor.


In keeping with the vogue for talking up distributed ledgers, Morten Linnemann Bech, Yuuki Shimizu and Paul Wong of the BIS have a go at doing the same in the bank’s latest quarterly review. Luckily, their analysis puts DLT in the context of real-time gross settlement (RTGS) and faster payment advances, and suggests wide-scale use is years away. This is useful.


More snap-worthy news for Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy. Shares in Snap, the owner of disappearing message app Snapchat, are poised for a third straight day of gains since the stock began trading on Thursday.


07 March


UK growth this year has been given the biggest upward revision among all the major countries surveyed by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, which released its latest economic forecasts earlier today.


Food price inflation is driving gains for the UK’s biggest grocers, with sales growing at their fastest rate in more than two and a half years. Supermarket sales rose 2.3 per cent year on year in the three months to February 26, the fastest rate since June 2014, according to monthly data from Kantar Worldpanel.


When Zhongguo Sun and Trevor Strutt first thought of setting up their own company, they were spurred to do so because of a takeover battle for their then-employer. Sixteen years later the pair are embroiled in their own fight for control in a saga that is gripping Asia’s financial community.


Will investors shrug off or sell off in response to latest developments in healthcare reform? After a shaky start to the week, US equity indices are set to edge lower again as Washington turns its focus to Republicans’ legislative push on healthcare, a major component of the American economy, as well as President Donald Trump’s pre-market tweets on the same subject.


08 March


The negative-yielding bond universe has swelled above the $10tn mark again, as the fixed income markets have regained its footing after last year’s ferocious post US election sell-off.


Shares in EDF hit an all-time low on Wednesday a day after the French utility launched a €4bn capital increase to shore up its creaking finances.


Self-driving cars and AI received a fillip in the budget, with a £270m investment fund for “disruptive technologies that have the potential to transform the UK economy”.


Inventories of US crude advanced for the ninth consecutive week, the longest streak of gains since 2015, while gasoline stocks fell for the third straight week.


09 March


Philip Hammond, Britain’s chancellor of the exchequer, pledged to make the country “the best place to do business” in his Spring Budget, days ahead of the UK’s formal notification to Brussels of its intention to leave the EU.


Akzo Nobel, the Dutch company that makes everything from paint to table salt, has held talks with US rival PPG Industries over a potential combination that could create a $42bn global chemicals giant, people briefed about the talks said.


Investors were burned by a sell-off in oil prices that pushed energy shares into their biggest one-day decline in nearly six months, in turn dragging the S&P 500 lower for a third straight day.


Oil slid more than 5 per cent on Wednesday following data showing a surge in US crude inventories to another record high, breaking the narrow range it has been trading in since late 2016.


10 March


Electoral jitters may be driving yields gaps to four-year highs in the eurozone, but the prospect of the first Federal Reserve rate hike of Donald Trump’s presidency has sent treasury yields soaring to the highest level above UK gilts in 25 years.


Goldman Sachs has moved forward its forecast for the timing of Federal Reserve rate increases this year after Friday’s upbeat jobs numbers.


The krone fell to its weakest level against the euro since the US election on Friday after a disappointing inflation update, but analysts at SEB think the move capped off what had already been an “irrational” couple of weeks for the currency, which should soon resume its recent climb.


Lloyds Banking Group has put aside a further £350m to compensate UK customers for mis-selling payment protection insurance, blaming extra requirements from the regulator and a delay to the deadline for complaints.