Week 16 2017

Week 16 2017

17 April – 21 April


17 April


US futures indicate that Wall Street will open modestly higher after the long weekend as investors continue to eye geopolitical risks and earnings amid light trade. S&P 500 futures were up 0.2 per cent to 2,331.25, while Dow futures were also up by the same margin to 20,455. Meanwhile, Nasdaq futures rose were up 0.2 per cent to 5,370.75. Trading is expected to remain muted and comes after European and the UK markets were closed for the Easter holiday.


Central bankers and finance ministers from around the world are gathering in Washington this week to discuss the state of the global economy and how to keep another post-crisis recovery from stalling.


Sergio Bucher, the former Amazon executive brought in to turn round Debenhams, the department store chain, will announce a new strategy on Thursday expected to include online investment and new in-store “experiences”.


The new owners of Formula One have hit back at claims from Bernie Ecclestone that the sport charges governments too much for hosting races, defending the multimillion dollar deals that are a vital revenue stream for the global motor racing series.


18 April


The Australian dollar took a tumble after the country’s central bank warned that the domestic labour and housing markets warranted “careful monitoring” over coming months.


The US’s two largest creditor nations increased their holdings of the country’s sovereign debt in February, a report from the US Treasury showed on Monday. Japan and China both increased their ownership of Treasuries, adding $12.6bn and $8.6bn, respectively, marking the first time that both have added to their holdings in the same month since February 2016.


The price of iron ore, a key ingredient in steelmaking, dropped almost 5 per cent to a near six-month low on Tuesday, hit hard by a decline in Chinese steel prices and concern about a supply glut.


UK government poised to sell final 2% stake in pivotal moment for bailed-out lender. It has taken nearly a decade, but the UK government is now poised to return Lloyds Banking Group to the private sector at a profit, in a watershed moment for the banking sector.


19 April


Theresa May’s move to hold a snap general election to strengthen her Brexit hand has divided the UK. While the poll will give the UK prime minister an opportunity to win a direct mandate for the first time to be prime minister, critics say it is unnecessary. Supporters see the vote as a chance to strengthen the Conservative party’s majority as it negotiates Britain’s exit from the EU.


A debt binge has left a quarter of US corporate assets vulnerable to a sudden increase in interest rates with the ability of companies to cover their interest payments at its weakest since the financial crisis by one measure, the International Monetary Fund has warned.


IBM investors will have to be patient a while longer before recent investments show through in stronger earnings and a return to revenue growth, according to comments made on the company’s quarterly earnings call with analysts on Tuesday.


Britain’s benchmark stock index has dipped into negative territory for the year as the rising pound weighs down on the FTSE 100. Having suffered its worst daily drop since the Brexit vote yesterday – down 2.5 per cent – the FTSE has slipped another 0.17 per cent this morning, taking its total 2017 performance into the red by 0.15 per cent.


20 April


Ireland has issued its first inflation-linked bond, raising €609.5m with a coupon of 0.25 per cent. The 23-year bond was issued as a private placement with repayment of the principal linked to Ireland’s consumer price inflation measure.


An administrative chill is biting even before Britain leaves the EU. An internal memo reveals Brussels is starting systematically to shut out British groups from multibillion-euro contracts and urging companies to decamp to one of the 27 remaining EU members as it prepares for Brexit. European countries have also warned Britain against making it hard for EU citizens to remain in the UK after Brexit in a revised set of negotiating guidelines.


In a lab deep within a landscaped campus in the western Indian city of Pune, 16 recent graduates are experimenting with new technologies that are shaking up a flagship national industry.


Shares in CSX chugged higher on Wednesday after the biggest railroad in the eastern US posted upbeat first quarter results — its first set of earnings under new chief executive and industry veteran Hunter Harrison.


21 April


Activity in the Germany economy slipped back slightly in April, according to a key business survey, but remained strong at close to six-year highs. IHS Markit’s composite purchasing managers’ index figure for the eurozone’s largest economy came in at 56.3, down from last month’s post-eurozone crisis high of 57.1.


Uber faces paying up to £2.1m to operate in London under the latest proposals to tighten regulation of private hire vehicles in the capital.


Verizon lost hundreds of thousands of customers in the first three months of the year despite resurrecting its unlimited data plan. The largest US mobile carrier that powers more than 100m US mobile devices said it lost 307,000 postpaid phone subscribers in the first quarter. Analysts had expected Verizon to add about 200,000 postpaid, or monthly, subscribers, which are viewed as the most lucrative wireless customers. 


The Loonie came under selling pressure on Friday after fresh data showed an unexpectedly sharp cooling in Canada’s consumer price growth. Consumer prices were up 1.6 per cent year-on-year in March, compared with a rise of 2 per cent in the previous month, and expectations of 1.8 per cent. On a month-on-month basis, prices were up 0.2 per cent, short of the 0.4 per cent that was expected.