Week 12 2017

Week 12 2017

20 March – 24 March


20 March


Many investors gave up on continental Europe in 2016. There was a net outflow from European equity markets for the first time in five years. This stance made sense at the turn of the year, when optimism was riding high in the US and the risk of further populist upsets in Europe was all that anybody could talk about.


Another brand has joined the growing list of companies and governments pulling their advertising from Google and YouTube. British food and clothing company Marks and Spencer has frozen all of its advertising on the sites after revelations that its advertisements were being displayed alongside extremist videos. The move comes just days after Havas, the French media agency, and the British government pulled their digital ad spending from the sites.


A debt milestone for Denmark. The country will pay off its last foreign currency loan worth $1.5bn today – ridding itself of any FX debt obligations for the first time in at least 183 years.


Gazprom Neft, Russia’s third-largest oil producer, is on the hunt for foreign partners to tap their technological expertise, as pressure to increase output and undertake increasingly complex projects pushes domestic know-how to the limit. 


21 March


Indonesia’s finance minister criticised the US on Monday for creating uncertainty over trade that was “defeating the last hope of a strong recovery” from the global financial crisis.


Wall Street struggled and the dollar spent most of the day with a weaker bias as participants adopted a cautious stance following the weekend G20 meeting and awaited a heavy schedule of “Fedspeak” in coming days.


Photo messaging service Snap surged early on Monday after receiving its first “buy” recommendation from an analyst, providing a reprieve from the technology company’s sell-off following its recent blockbuster IPO.


A new kind of grocer war could be in the works. Albertsons, the company behind grocers like Safeway and Vons, has reportedly held preliminary talks to merge with Arizona-based Sprouts Farmers Market. And now some are speculating that Krogers and Whole Foods Market could also be interested.


22 March


Taiwan’s unemployment rate fell slightly in February – although it came up short of economist estimates.


The Bank of Japan decided last week to keep interest rates on hold, as expected, but minutes from its January meeting have shed a little bit of light on the slightly more optimistic tone adopted by the central bank.


Markets now and again behave in ways least expected, none more so than the resilience of emerging market currencies against the US dollar.


China’s tech titans told a story of differing fortunes on Wednesday, as Baidu lost its artificial intelligence chief, Andrew Ng, while Alibaba pulled off the first step on its path to building a global trade platform for ecommerce.


23 March


Scott McDonough was working on a deal to invest in Mexico’s biggest pet shop chain when Donald Trump’s election victory threatened to smash the North American free trade pact that has revolutionised the country as a destination for foreign cash.


New Zealand’s central bank on Wednesday held its benchmark interest rate at a record low, saying that further depreciation of the kiwi is necessary to “achieve more balanced growth”.


The euro came close to its highest level against the dollar in almost four months on Wednesday, as investors waited nervously ahead of Donald Trump’s first key legislative test over the repeal of Obamacare.


JPMorgan Chase is moving up the prime brokerage market, beating Goldman Sachs for second place in the rankings of banking advisers to hedge funds.


24 March


In recent years Ray Dalio, head of the Bridgewater hedge fund, has penned many high-minded, and hefty, reports on monetary policy, markets and macro economics.


For Sri Mulyani Indrawati, Indonesia’s finance minister, systemic tax dodging in a country of 250m people living scattered across 922 inhabited islands is a constant challenge. But it is one that she says Jakarta cannot afford to fail in.


The premium that investors are demanding to hold riskier US corporate bonds has climbed to the highest level since the start of the year, underlining the nervousness that has crept on to Wall Street this week.


Ford said that slowing new car demand in the US and rising costs could halve its first-quarter earnings per share compared with last year’s record first quarter.