Week 15 2018

Week 15 2018

09 April – 13 April

 

09 April

 

According to a supply-chain bottleneck joke doing the rounds in the factory automation industry, it is now quicker to gestate a baby than secure a reduction gear from Harmonic Drive Systems. Hilarious, certainly, but is it investable?

 

Investor sentiment for the eurozone has dropped for the third month in a row, with worries about deteriorating Sino-American relations weighing heavily on the outlook.

 

The Syrian government and Russia have blamed Israel for a deadly attack on a Syrian military airport, after the Assad regime and its ally came under intense criticism over an alleged chemical weapons attack that killed at least 48 people in the rebel-held town of Douma.

 

Swiss pharmaceuticals company Novartis is spending $8.7bn to acquire AveXis, a US specialist in spinal muscular atrophy, a childhood wasting disease, in the latest big strategic move by its new boss.

 

10 April

 

US stocks gave up the bulk of their gains in a late sell-off on Monday to close marginally higher amid a report that the FBI had raided the office of President Donald Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen.

 

Allianz will become the first large commercial lender to commit long-term funding to an African infrastructure fund by making a nearly $120m 12-year loan to a vehicle underwritten by western development agencies.

 

Pharmaceuticals started the week on the front foot after upbeat results on a key immunotherapy left Merck shares eyeing their best day in more than 1.5 years.

 

Oil prices climbed in early Tuesday trading, fuelled by President Trump’s remarks on Monday about the possibility of a US attack on Syria.

 

11 April

 

Hopes for an improvement in the US-China trade dispute helped pave the way to renewed gains for global stocks and oil prices, while Treasuries suffered modest losses after the release of stronger-than-expected US wholesale inflation data.

 

Japanese core machine orders rose in February beating estimates on an improvement for the manufacturing sector. Core machinery orders, which strips out ships and utilities, rose 2.1 per cent month on month in February, according to the Economic and Social Research Institute, beating the 2.5 per cent decline forecast by economists in a Reuters poll. That was lower than the 8.2 per cent growth recorded in January.

 

Facebook shares were up more than 5 per cent as Mark Zuckerberg testified before Congress, leaving the stock at its highest level in just over a fortnight.

 

South 32 is appealing a Colombian court ruling that threatens the future of its Cerro Matoso nickel mine, after the court found the operation’s waste emissions were causing serious health problems for local indigenous communities.

 

12 April

 

Equities were mixed in Asia on Thursday after Wall Street dipped during the previous session, with gains by energy stocks on tensions in the Middle East failing to lift most markets higher.

 

UK house prices remained unchanged for a second consecutive month in March while buyer demand fell for the twelfth straight month, a closely-watched survey found.

 

It was more pain and little gain for the airline sector on Wednesday. Airline stocks faced another day of turbulent trading as oil’s relentless march upwards continued to shake investors’ confidence in the industry’s ability to contain costs and protect profit margins.

 

WH Smith on Thursday posted a stagnant profit with an acceleration in its travel division overshadowed by weakness at its high street stores.

 

13 April

 

China will allow overseas investors to trade the steel-making ingredient iron ore on the Dalian Commodity Exchange, the latest move by Beijing to exert influence over the global pricing of raw materials.

 

Hong Kong has begun buying its currency in a rare move that will increase interest rates and add to pressure on its property market, while Singapore has also tightened its monetary policy for the first time in six years.

 

Investors punished accountancy software group Sage’s warning on underwhelming half-year sales with a 19 per cent share price drop on Friday morning, leaving it at the bottom of the FTSE 100.

 

Rolls-Royce said it faced higher than previously expected cash costs connected to problems with its Trent 1000 engines this year, only a month after it set out details of the expected costs to finally resolve the issues in a move that was regarded as drawing a line under the rolling two-year debacle.