This is an amalgamation of the “best bits” of the daily weekday newsletter/blog woven together to form a concise and coherent view on the things that matter in the commercial and economic news of the week.
THE DAY IN BRACKETS REFERS TO THE EDITION WHERE THE STORY APPEARED IN WATSON’S DAILY. Clicking on the day will take you to the appropriate edition of Watson’s Daily.
THIS WAS A MACRO ROLLERCOASTER OF A WEEK...
- President Trump kicked the week off by slapping 15% duties on Chinese imports worth $125bn over the weekend (Monday) but then ended the week by putting a date in the diary for trade talks between Liu He and Robert Lighthizer (Friday). Markets trended higher as a result, but as we all know, it ain’t worth diddly if there’s no deal at the end of it!
- Unrest continued in Hong Kong with a general strike (Monday) but Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam announced a withdrawal of the extradition bill that sparked of months of protests (Thursday), providing some respite in the region
- This was a right old rollercoaster of a week for the UK as Boris Johnson started the week in bullish mood about Brexit (Monday), outlined an ultimatum (Tuesday) whereupon the wheels fell off (Wednesday) – which was then topped off by his brother JoJo resigning (Friday). There was some interesting research on the potential cost of Labour policies on seizing shares of companies (Monday) as well as its bid to “end austerity, eliminate in-work poverty and drive up living standards across the UK economy” (Tuesday) which includes things like the complete overhaul of the use and governance of land, rethinking the role of the Bank of England, trialing universal basic income (i.e. flat lump sums for the unemployed), nationalisation of rail companies, utilities and the Royal Mail plus a drive towards the use of green energy
RETAIL WAS A MIXED BAG, AS ALWAYS...
- Despite a difficult market, Lego announced it was going to increase store numbers (Wednesday) in the growth markets of China and India, M&S fell out of the FTSE100 for the first time in 35 years (Wednesday) and Halfords announced yet another profit warning (Thursday)
- Pressure on retailers with CVAs mounted with the continuation of a Sports Direct-sponsored legal challenge with Debenhams (Tuesday) and a new challenge by British Land on Monsoon Accessorize’s CVA (Friday)
THERE WERE SOME IMPACTFUL EVENTS IN TECH...
- …as Facebook launched its dating app in the US (Friday), which should have rivals such as Match.com quaking in their boots (although Facebook’s success is not nailed on given its recently-revealed shady record on data privacy)
- …and Samsung’s bendy phone, the Galaxy Fold got relaunched in South Korea (Friday), to be rolled out in the UK, France, Germany and Singapore by September 18th. Let’s hope it’s ready for market this time!
THERE WERE SOME INTERESTING ANNOUNCEMENTS FROM TESLA AND TOYOTA...
- Elon Musk announced that Tesla was going to become an insurer in its own right (Monday) and use its own balance sheet to underwrite car insurance as Musk believes that the company’s access to its driver’s data will mean it can do a better job than others and bring costs down for its customers into the bargain. There was more good news for the company this week as it turns out that the Model S was Britain’s 3rd highest-selling new car last month (Friday), according to the latest SMMT figures
- Toyota announced deals with China’s BYD and Comtemporary Amperex Technology (CATL) to develop batteries for electric vehicles (Tuesday), cementing its position in the world’s biggest car market and positioning it for the future