Week 12 2018

Week 12 2018

19 March – 23 March

 

19 March

 

Growth in the cost of new housing in China’s major cities rose in February in the latest indication of the property market since the country’s premier reiterated that housing was “not for speculation”.

 

Facebook shares fell in pre-market trading, outpacing a wider fall for tech stocks, after claims that the data analytics firm hired by the Trump presidential campaign harvested the data of some 50m Facebook users without their consent. 

 

The acquisitive software group Micro Focus shed more than half of its market value on Monday after warning problems integrating the HP Enterprise business meant the pace of revenue decline would be even worse than it had previously thought. CEO Chris Hsu is also leaving after just months in the job.

 

MasterCard would be “very happy to look at” facilitating the use of national digital currencies issued by central banks, a senior executive at the card company has told the Financial Times.

 

20 March

 

US soyabean exports will be targeted if the Trump administration imposes further tariffs on China, said Hu Xijin, editor of nationalist tabloid the Global Times, which is controlled by the Chinese Communist party mouthpiece the People’s Daily.

 

Asia Pacific stocks tracked lower in early trading on Tuesday after Facebook’s shares took their biggest hit in over four years overnight.

 

BlackBerry has on Monday earned the distinction of being one of the few technology stocks that is not having a completely horrible day.

 

Shares in Facebook fell the most in four years on Monday, wiping $36.7bn off the market value of the world’s largest social network as a backlash intensified over claims it had been used to harvest the data of millions of US voters.

 

21 March

 

Thailand’s exports grew at a faster rate than forecast in February but the pace of growth eased from the previous month’s five-year high.

 

Amazon overtook Alphabet on Tuesday to become the world’s second most valuable company, capping a year-long surge that has added about $350bn to its stock market value.

 

Salesforce has confirmed it will acquire Mulesoft in a deal valuing the network software maker at $6.5bn.

 

Global media and communications group Vivendi has sold its minority stake in French video games publisher Ubisoft, bringing to an end a hostile two-and-a-half-year relationship between the two companies and marking a setback for Vivendi’s controlling shareholder Vincent Bolloré.

 

22 March

 

Australia’s unemployment rate edged higher in February as the number of part-time jobs fell while participation in the labour force rose to its highest in seven years.

 

The dollar dropped in reaction to the Federal Reserve’s rate rise and statement, which appeared to disappoint investors looking for a definitively hawkish tone.

 

Tencent ratcheted up its competition with Alibaba, claiming leadership in two key areas and signalling a further year of investment and acquisitions.

 

General Mills shares tumbled on Wednesday as the processed food giant warned its profits this year would be squeezed by cost pressures including a historic shortage of truck drivers.

 

23 March

 

Grain and soyabean prices declined on Beijing’s threats to impose tariffs on a list of US imports including agricultural products such as pork, nuts, fresh fruits and wine in retaliation to the Trump administration’s steel and aluminium duties.

 

The yen strengthened to a near 17-month high and bonds gained in the wake of the Trump administration’s plans to impose tariffs on up to $60bn in annual imports from China in a bid to trim its trade deficit with the country.

 

The trade body of the world’s largest music market extolled a “remarkable re-invention” in how people listen to music, as it revealed that US sales have now climbed for two consecutive years — the first such growth since Napster ravaged the industry in 1999.

 

Aviva is preparing to backtrack on its proposal to cancel £450m of high-yielding preference shares, following a backlash from City and retail investors and intervention by MPs furious at the insurer’s plans to cancel the “irredeemable” shares at par value.