Week 5 2017

Week 5 2017

30 January – 03 February


30 January


Does President Donald Trump want to destroy the EU? We cannot answer this question definitely, but the signals he has sent out suggest the bloc should take the potential threat more seriously than it is.


Japan should make greater use of fiscal stimulus to boost the economy, one of the masterminds of Abenomics has said, highlighting a shift in thinking among prime minister Shinzo Abe’s top advisers on the economy.


BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, is warning bondholders that Brexit remains a major risk event for investment portfolios this year as the UK prepares to negotiate its exit from the EU.


BP is to study the potentially disruptive impact of 3D printing on oil markets if the rise of small-scale digital manufacturing reduces the need to ship goods around the world.


31 January


Consumer confidence in the UK – one of the most surprisingly resilient aspects of the post-Brexit vote economy – edged up again in January but there are worrying signs things may just have peaked at the start of the year.


Spanish consumer prices rose at their fastest rate in more than four years in January, as higher energy prices drove the inflation rate to 3 per cent for the first time since December 2012.


Microsoft is planning to borrow at least $14bn in what will be the largest corporate bond sale of the year on Monday, according to two investors familiar with the sale.


It could hardly be clearer: Donald Trump is threatening to pull the trigger on a trade war with Mexico that could blow apart a relationship worth $1m a minute. The far-fetched prospect of better-than-ever bilateral ties, which the president invoked hours before torpedoing a summit with his counterpart Enrique Peña Nieto, now looks like a mirage.


01 February


There are few policymakers around the world who have reason to look on Donald Trump’s arrival in the White House with gratitude. One group who might, however, is the monetary policy committee of the Bank of Japan.


Blame foreigners first. This strategy is always the companion of aggrieved nationalism. It can be seen in Donald Trump’s ban on immigrants from seven countries. It will be seen in his protectionism. A kernel of truth — terrorism and the direct impact of imports on jobs — bolsters a lie: my actions are enough to keep you safe and restore the prosperity you once knew.


Mercedes-Benz plans to run a network of self-driving cars that can be booked through Uber’s app, in the latest step in the evolution of autonomous technology in the auto sector.


Gold has had its best monthly performance since June as investors anticipate higher inflation, but further gains are likely limited by a firmer dollar as the US Federal Reserve tightens policy this year.


02 February


A senior White House adviser’s attack on Germany for using a weak euro to gain trade advantages over the US has inflamed a long-running debate in the EU about German economic policy and its approach to monetary union.


The US central bank’s Federal Open Market Committee left the federal funds target range at 0.5 per cent to 0.75 per cent in a unanimous decision, following a quarter-point increase at the prior meeting in December, reports Sam Fleming in Washington.


Rising commodity prices and exports have handed Australia its largest trade surplus on record in the final month of 2016, pushing the Australian dollar to its highest level in almost three months.


German criminal authorities are investigating Deutsche Börse’s chief executive over his purchase of shares in the exchange just weeks before it began talks with the London Stock Exchange Group about a €24bn merger.


03 February


The Trump administration is putting a bilateral trade deal with Japan high on its economic agenda with a visit to the US next week by Shinzo Abe, the Japanese prime minister, set to include discussions about how best to pursue such a pact.


In November, the Bank of England said the resilience of the British economy after the vote for Brexit should not be over-interpreted and suggested that pain had merely been deferred.


Time to buy Mexico? Yes, but it is the home of the brave investor. “We’re all trying to understand how to differentiate noise from signal,“ Mike Gomez, head of emerging markets at US asset manager Pimco, says of a Donald Trump administration that has had Mexico firmly in its crosshairs.


Reckitt Benckiser, the UK-based maker of Nurofen painkillers and Durex condoms, is in advanced talks to acquire Mead Johnson in a deal that could value the US baby milk group at about $16.7bn.