Week 34 2017

Week 34 2017

21 August – 25 August


21 August


The pace of global dividend growth grew in the second quarter of 2017, thanks to more evenly spread economic growth and a revival in banking sector payouts following years of stress tests that have eroded profitability. 


Thailand’s economy grew at its fastest pace in four years in the three months to June as tourism and retail activity picked up.


Total has agreed to buy $7.45bn of mature oil exploration and production assets from Danish conglomerate AP Moller-Maersk, boosting the French oil group’s presence in the North Sea and rebalancing its portfolio in geopolitically stable countries.


US markets aren’t budging much ahead of the solar eclipse that’s set to dim the lights across the country later today. US equity markets are set to begin the week right around where they left off on Friday. Futures tip the Dow Jones, S&P 500 and Nasdaq to open flat at 21,677, 2,426 and 5,798 respectively.


22 August


As markets await the annual Jackson Hole gathering of central bankers later this week, signs of tension are beginning to emerge in the eurozone’s bond markets. The spread between Italian and German government debt yields – a reliable warning indicator of political tension – has hit a five-week high.


Foot Locker extended its slump on Monday, dropping another 6.2 per cent following a 28 per cent slide on Friday as analysts hit the athletic footwear chain with more downgrades amid growing questions over the viability of its business model.


Russia’s Rosneft and partners including Swiss commodity house Trafigura have finalised their $13bn takeover of Indian refiner Essar Oil, giving the two companies a foothold in the fast-growing Asian market.

European stock markets have opened up after a broadly cautious trading session on Monday, in which geopolitics and Thursday’s Jackson Hole gathering of central bankers weighed on sentiment.


23 August


Germany’s central bank has completed its plan to shift 54,000 gold bars from vaults in New York and Paris to beneath its Frankfurt headquarters without a major glitch.


Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and Nestlé are among seven soft-drink makers that have agreed to limit the amount of sugar they use in beverages sold in Singapore, marking the latest campaign from a health regulator to fight diabetes by targeting sweet drinks.


Playtech has agreed a $150m deal to expand its trading software division, as the FTSE 250 group – which made its name providing technology for online gambling – looks to strengthen its offering for financial businesses.


Asia Pacific equities were mixed on Wednesday as Hong Kong traders stayed home in the face of a severe typhoon. Japanese stocks were leading the region higher, with the Topix rising 0.5 per cent. Uniqlo owner Fast Retailing gained 1.3 per cent after workers at one of the retailer’s Toronto stores voted against unionizing.


24 August


French business confidence continued to improve in August to reach its highest level since April 2011, underscoring recent upbeat data in the eurozone’s second largest economy which has forced analysts to raise their growth forecasts.


American Eagle Outfitters and Express gave the battered teen apparel sector a much-needed pick-me-up on Wednesday after the two retailers delivered better than expected second-quarter sales.


Samsung has unveiled a revamped model of its exploding Note 7 smartphone, the new Galaxy Note 8, as the South Korean phone manufacturer attempts to draw a final line under the disastrous product.


Carillion hit a record low on Wednesday as concerns deepened that the support services group was struggling to put together a rescue refinancing.


25 August


Business confidence in Germany eased back in August for the first time this year, but companies were more optimistic about trading in the months ahead as the recovery in the eurozone goes from strength to strength.


Spotify has reached a long-term licensing deal with Warner Music, clearing the last big hurdle in its path to a public listing.


Amazon sent tremors through the supermarket sector after it said Thursday it would begin cutting prices on avocados, bananas and other products sold at Whole Foods, as soon as its acquisition is completed on Monday. 


Investors took a breather from European equity funds after pouring $10bn into the asset class since early July, as continental bourses stalled ahead of the Jackson Hole gathering of central bank policymakers.