Week 28 2017

Week 28 2017

July 10 – 14 July

 

10 July

 

A Chinese city has successfully trialled an “unhackable” communications network, raising hope of a rollout of the world’s first widescale commercial application of quantum communications.

 

The philosopher Karl Popper’s test for distinguishing between science and pseudo-science was to ask whether a given theory was falsifiable or not. If an idea could be proven or disproven using real-world evidence, then it could be useful. If, like astrology, it could not be, then it belonged in the world of cranks and sophists. For investors, who each day listen to a cacophony of views and forecasts about the direction of the global economy, there is a similarly useful rule of thumb: is this type of macro analysis offering up any type of practical investment idea where there is reliable way of estimating its likelihood of success?

 

Germany’s financial regulator, BaFin, has cleared the way for Bain Capital and Cinven to return with a fresh and higher offer for Stada, the generic drugmaker, in what is set to be Europe’s largest buyout in four years.

 

Best Buy shares took a hit on Monday, after a news report on Amazon’s electronics installation service spooked investors with the spectre that the e-commerce behemoth will move more deeply into another domain.

 

11 July

 

Pakistan’s stock prices dropped more than 4.4 per cent on Tuesday amid mounting pressure on prime minister Nawaz Sharif to step down, following a report ordered by the supreme court over alleged corruption involving his family members.

 

Siemens, the German engineering group, said it would pursue criminal charges against Technopromexport after it emerged that two of the gas turbines it sold to the state-owned engineering company had been moved to Crimea in violation of EU sanctions.

 

British food producer Premier Foods has been criticised by another investor for “a poor regard for shareholder value” in a further sign of the pressure on the company’s board.

 
 
Ratings agency Standard & Poor’s thinks the UK economy is heading for a soft patch. Squeezed real wages and uncertainties relating to the manner in which the UK will leave the EU mean that growth will likely be 1.4 per cent this year, and 0.9 per cent in 2018, S&P said. That’s a pullback from the 1.8 per cent growth in 2016 and is “subject to considerable downside risks, stemming mainly from Brexit uncertainties,” the agency said. It does not expect a rise in UK interest rates until mid-2019.

 

12 July

 

To a Japanese bond investor, the world truly is flat. Not only in the sense that they can invest around the world at the click of a button, but that the choices available to them have become extremely compressed.

 

As a kid interested in global current affairs, I came across the notion of politicians signalling one way but looking to turn the other. It was a time of frequent political regime changes, some violent and some relatively smooth. In many of the latter, citizens were assured that a certain comforting path would be maintained while leaders attempted to carefully steer towards a new one.

 

Jan du Plessis will endure a torrid introduction to his tenure as chairman of BT on Wednesday as he faces shareholders at the annual meeting after a run of problems at the UK telecoms company.

 

New broadcasting deals have pushed the revenues of Europe’s biggest football leagues to record highs, with television money fuelling massive spending on player transfers and wages.

 

13 July

 

The US has formally notified South Korea that it plans to start the process of reviewing and possibly amending a trade deal between the two countries, the latest step by the Trump administration to overhaul American trade policy.

 

A London market rally left Kingfisher behind amid growing doubts about the B&Q owner’s restructuring plan.

 

Global chocolate confectionery sales bounced back in the three months to the end of May, according to Barry Callebaut, the world’s largest manufacturer of chocolate and cocoa products by volume.

 

Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct group has taken advantage of a recent sharp fall in shares to buy more than a quarter of video game retailer Game Digital, in a move Game is hoping will lead to a new partnership in the retail and growing esports markets.

 

14 July

 

India’s wholesale price index rose at its slowest pace in almost a year in June as fuel and non-food articles declined.

 

Cargill, the world’s largest agricultural commodities supplier, has raked in its highest annual profit in six years, with sales bolstered by growing global appetite for beef, chicken and other forms of protein.

 

The US dollar has fallen to its lowest point in nearly 10 months on the heels of soft data on inflation and retail sales that have dimmed expectations for a third interest-rate increase in 2017.

 

Gold prices were pushing higher on Friday as softer data on US inflation and retail sales have added fuel to skepticism about the Federal Reserve’s plans for interest-rate rises this year.