Week 20 2017

Week 20 2017

15 May – 19 May


15 May


Growth in China’s retail sales, investment and industrial production softened in April, indicating a sub-par start to the second quarter despite apparent resilience in domestic lending activity.


US equities are starting off the trading week with a bang. Both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq hit new intraday highs ahead of lunchtime in New York, thanks to a jolt from the energy sector as oil prices track higher.


Brussels has launched a formal investigation into Aspen Pharmacare over claims that the drug company raised the price of five cancer medicines up to several hundred per cent and withdrew the drugs from some markets to impose its price rises.


Alphabet’s self-driving car unit Waymo is joining forces with ride-hailing service Lyft, in an alliance that brings together two of Uber’s closest rivals.


16 May


So much for being the next source of eurozone doom. Since Emmanuel Macron’s victory in the French presidential election removed fears of a chaotic “Frexit”, many pessimists have turned to Italy as the next likely cause of problems for investors in Europe.


The humble Brazil nut is sounding a warning bell over the state of the Amazon forest. A severe drought that hit the Amazon rainforest last year has spurred a sharp fall in the amount of supplies of the treenut, which is a staple in packets of mixed nuts and muesli.


Following on from a sparkling set of economic growth data from across central and eastern Europe earlier this morning, Poland has just cranked out year-on-year GDP growth of some 4.1 per cent in the first quarter (on a seasonally adjusted basis), up from 1.6 per cent in the previous reading for the end of 2016 and well ahead of forecasts.


The FTSE 250 housebuilder Crest Nicholson pushed up the prices of its homes by 12 per cent in the six months to the end of April despite a slowing of house price growth across the country.


17 May


The dollar is sliding to six-month low and US equity futures are in retreat as investors fret that president Donald Trump’s ability to push through his mooted pro-growth policies is under threat.


The arrival of Vanguard, the world’s second-largest fund company, in the UK’s online investment market dealt an immediate blow to long-established competitor Hargreaves Lansdown.


France attracted its highest ever order book for a new bond sale on Tuesday, in the clearest sign yet of the renewed demand for the country’s debt after the election of Emmanuel Macron as president.


Banco Popular said it had received interest from several rivals about a potential merger with the lossmaking lender, raising the prospect for further consolidation in Spain’s banking system.


18 May


Zinc prices have hit their lowest levels since November as a sell-off in metals gains steam. The price of zinc fell 2.42 per cent to hit a low of $2,501 a tonne Thursday on the London Metal Exchange.


The Australian dollar jumped back into positive territory after data showed employment rose more than expected in April and the jobless rate fell to its equal-lowest level this year.


Shares in companies that own and manage US shopping malls and other retail properties dropped on Tuesday, the fourth-straight decline, amid mounting anxiety over disappointing sales at department stores and clothing retailers.


Urban Outfitters — the company behind Free People, Anthropologie and its eponymous brand stores — became the latest major retailer to report dismal first-quarter results, with key metrics missing on all fronts.


19 May


Heard about the Hong Kong-listed Chinese company alleged to have smoothed its earnings using a host of connected groups, or the chairman accused of taking millions out of a company?


Brazil’s President Michel Temer has refused to resign despite allegations in a leading national newspaper that he assented to bribe-paying to buy the silence of a former coalition ally.


Financial integration in the eurozone “stalled” last year, according to the European Central Bank, which is urging member states to plough ahead with plans to create a fully-fledged banking union in the bloc.


Shares in Japanese airbag maker Takata jumped as much as 17.7 per cent on Friday after four global automakers agreed to pay $553m to settle with owners of vehicles for losses linked to the recall of the company’s products.