Week 44 2017

Week 44 2017

30 October – 03 November


30 October


The International Monetary Fund has warned that the increasing use of exotic financial products tied to equity volatility by investors such as pension funds is creating unknown risks that could result in a severe shock to financial markets.


Autumn is welcoming the Swiss economy with a tailwind, according to the Swiss Economic Institute (Kof). Kof’s economic barometer hit its highest level in more than seven years in October, narrowly topping a 2013 reading to reach 109.1 points this month. Economists polled by Reuters had only expected 105.5, which would have been a slight fall from September’s reading, even before that figure was upwardly revised to 106.1.


The EU is politically and intellectually unprepared for a crisis in Spain. The European project is based on the idea that the EU is a “safe space” for liberal values. Once a country enters the club it is assumed to leave old conflicts, whether internal or external, outside the door.


Major suppliers to Apple were among the best-performing stocks on European markets on Monday morning, after the world’s most valuable public company reported even stronger than expected demand for its new phone.


31 October


Major US equities ended the first trading day of the week in the red, amid a flurry of political developments including the announcement of the first charges to stem from Robert Mueller’s probe into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election as well as a report that lawmakers are weighing a plan that would phase in corporate tax cuts.


China is positioning itself to take a lead role at next week’s climate talks as it moves to fill the leadership vacuum left by the US, said the country’s top climate negotiator Tuesday.


Shares in Nintendo rose as much as 5 per cent on Tuesday after the company raised its profit outlook and said it had increased production of its Switch console to meet demand.

Samsung Electronics has shaken up its executive team after the August sentencing of its de facto leader in a corruption scandal, replacing all three of its co-chief executives in an attempt to shore up management after a series of setbacks for the founding Lee family.


01 November


Kenneth Chenault knows how to play the game of life: the chairman and chief executive of American Express has received at least $370m during his 17-year tenure there. He was declared “the gold standard for corporate leadership”, by Warren Buffett, a long-time Amex investor, when he announced his departure.


The supermarket chain J Sainsbury has launched a record label to take advantage of the revival in interest in vinyl with bespoke song compilations. Sainsbury’s says it is one of the largest sellers of vinyl records in the country, having sold 120,000 albums since it started stocking them. It claims to have a market share of about 5 per cent in the UK, with particular focus on reissues of albums by the likes of Led Zeppelin and T-Rex.


Taiwan manufacturing growth slowed to a three-month low in October, according to a market survey. The latest Nikkei Taiwan Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index came in at 53.6 in October, down from 54.2 in September.


Crude benchmarks on both sides of the Atlantic climbed on Wednesday, adding to recent gains and pushing energy stocks higher. In mid-morning trading in Europe, global marker Brent rose 1.2 per cent to $61.67 a barrel. West Texas Intermediate, the US standard, advanced 1.1 per cent to $55.01 a barrel.


02 November


The US currency edged lower and major Asia currencies strengthened on Thursday amid expectations Jay Powell will be Donald Trump’s nominee to serve as the next chair of the Federal Reserve.


The UK’s construction sector emerged from a technical recession in October, but optimism about the future fell to its lowest level for almost five years, according to a survey of purchasing managers working in the industry published on Thursday.


An eleventh-hour dispute between Uber’s former chief executive and Benchmark, one of the car booking company’s largest investors, is holding up a major injection by SoftBank worth up to $10bn.


Honda shares jumped more than 5 per cent to their highest in almost two years after the carmaker announced its first share buyback in seven years and upgraded its full-year profit outlook.


03 November


The chief executive of Randgold Resources, London’s biggest listed gold producer, reckons gold prices are likely to push higher as a decade of loose monetary policy comes to an end.


Hong Kong’s private sector notched a second month of expansion in October but at a far slower pace than just one month earlier as demand from China shrank, according to an industry survey.


Western Union is reaping the benefits of its investment in digital payment, with the company raising its full-year outlook after delivering third quarter results that topped estimates.


Coffee shop chain Starbucks said on Thursday it will sell its Tazo tea brand to Unilever for $384m to focus on its Teavana line, amid disappointing quarterly results that drove its shares lower in after-hours trading.