Week 15 2017

Week 15 2017

10 April – 14 April


10 April


US stocks extended their gains on Monday as oil prices advanced and investors appeared to shrug off geopolitical concerns and keep an eye on updates on the US economy. The S&P 500 rose 0.4 per cent to 2,364.26 in a broad-based rally but with the energy sector rising 1.1 per cent and leading the gains on the benchmark index. Meanwhile, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.4 per cent to 20,739.58 and the Nasdaq Composite rose 0.4 per cent to 5,900.96.


Randgold Resources and Fresnillo were Monday’s biggest fallers on the FTSE 100 index as the price of gold had a lacklustre day, hampered by a stronger dollar. The precious metal miners were down 2.4 per cent to £72.30 and 2.5 per cent to £15.83, respectively.


Global technology groups Tencent, eBay and Microsoft have injected $1.4bn into Indian ecommerce group Flipkart to boost its firepower for an intensifying battle with Amazon.


Australian home loans slipped in February as lending to investors posted its biggest month-on-month fall since September 2015. Home loans fell 0.5 per cent month on month in February, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, coming in below a median economist estimate compiled by Bloomberg predicting that the figure would come in flat. The headline number saw revised 0.4 per cent growth (previously 0.5 per cent) in January.


11 April


A rare setback in the eurozone’s recent recovery. Industrial production in the single currency area fell back in February, and output was lower than previously thought at the start of the year, according to data from Eurostat.


An analyst upgrade helped lift Amazon 1.4 per cent higher on Monday with the company seen as one of the main beneficiaries of a renewed focus on the demise of US malls.


The UK fashion chain Jaeger has collapsed into administration, putting almost 700 jobs at risk.
AlixPartners said it had been appointed administrator of the company at the request of its directors after efforts to find a buyer were unsuccessful.


Axovant, the Alzheimer’s start-up, said on Monday it had appointed biotech veteran David Hung as its chief executive, sending shares in the group up by almost a third.


12 April


Christine Lagarde, the IMF’s managing director, said that eurozone creditors must provide considerably more detail on debt relief for Greece before the fund will take a decision to join the country’s bailout programme.


A new front has quietly opened in a battle that pits Portugal against some of the world’s largest investors. BlackRock is among a handful of investors who this week began applying to Lisbon’s administrative court for an injunction to stop the planned sale of 75 per cent of Novo Banco, the so-called good bank salvaged from the ruins of Banco Espírito Santo, to Lone Star, a US private equity fund.


Stock in Toshiba took another dip at the open on Wednesday after the company warned of “substantial doubt” about its ability to stay in business. Shares in the company fell as much as 3.6 per cent in early trading to ¥215.4.


Fujitsu has been forced to explain itself to investors after becoming embroiled with a small-time corporate raider in what has become Japan’s first hostile takeover battle for a decade.


13 April


Ghana intends to end its three-year $918m loan deal with the International Monetary Fund as scheduled in April of next year, the country’s finance minister said on Thursday.


Never mind that embattled Venezuela is besieged by popular protests food shortages, and international scorn as the government grows increasingly dictatorial: National oil company PDVSA made some $2.2bn in bond payments on Wednesday.


Delta Air Lines said it expected to snap a nine-quarter decline in a key sales measure, even as the carrier faces a surge in fuel costs and the repercussions of storms that hit its Atlanta hub last week.


There’s something a bit weird going on with the euro: it looks like hedgies have learnt to love it again, but it’s just not climbing. Usual caveat: the US currency futures market represents a small slice of a very big thing. Nonetheless, the weekly data released by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission do offer decent insight into what the broader speculative community is up to in the currencies market.


14 April


Spring has come to the global economy: confidence is growing that a synchronised recovery is taking hold. Next week’s release of the International Monetary Fund’s forecasts might even show a slew of upward revisions. Neither populism nor incontinent deregulation created this recovery. But these forces could quite easily destroy it.


Nature is said to abhor a vacuum, but finance loves them. After all, they tend to be very profitable — at least for savvy early movers. Banks have in recent years been forced to retrench their operations, tamed by financial crisis losses, bridled by shareholders and tethered by more onerous regulation. Lending to smaller and mid-sized companies has been one of the biggest victims, as banks have focused on servicing their blue-chip clients. But a swelling array of investors have stepped into the resulting breach.


The UK’s retail banks are expected to slow down the supply of unsecured credit to British consumers in the middle of the year, according to the Bank of England, which has warned over the state of the country’s current borrowing boom.


A handful of big banks led by JPMorgan this week kicked off one of the more eagerly anticipated earning seasons in recent memory, with investors desperate for evidence that a revenue turnround is gathering pace and the rotation back into technology is justified.