Watson’s Weekly 10-02-2024

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 COLOURED HIGHLIGHT 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.

IN BIG PICTURE NEWS...

This was the week of the Xi/Putin love-in, Arrival departing and Arm’s roaring return…

IN COMMODITIES NEWS…

IN ENERGY NEWS…

IN BUSINESS AND EMPLOYMENT TRENDS NEWS…

IN AUTOMOTIVE NEWS...

IN ELECTRIC VEHICLE NEWS…

IN OTHER AUTOMOTIVE NEWS…

IN RETAIL, LEISURE AND RESTAURANT NEWS...

OVERALL IN THE UK…

IN LUXURY GOODS NEWS…

  • Gucci owner Kering saw sales slide in Q4 as Gucci continues to underperform relative to some other luxury marques although sales had improved in North American and Asia-Pacific markets over the quarter.
  • Farfetch looks like it’s heading for liquidation as creditors didn’t like last week’s $500m rescue deal from South Korean retailer Coupang and said that it had been rushed into. The luxury online platform’s valuation has fallen by 99% from its high in 2021!

IN CONSUMER GOODS NEWS…

IN APPAREL RETAIL…

IN GROCERY RETAIL…

IN LEISURE NEWS…

IN TECH NEWS...

IN AI NEWS…

  • Microsoft did a deal with tech start-up Semafor to use its AI chatbot to put together news stories at a time when it is also facing a multi-billion dollar lawsuit from the New York Times. Semafor will post a breaking news feed called “Signals” that will not only offer breaking news – but also analysis on major stories. Signals will be written by journalists powered by AI for research.
  • Google announced the launch of Gemini, its latest generative AI system, as it tries to catch up with Microsoft and OpenAI in the race for AI supremacy. Its most advanced model, Gemini Ultra 1.0, will be offered as a chatbot and integrated into its other productivity tools like Gmail, Docs and Sheets via a $20 a month subscription plan. Google will be renaming all of its AI products, including its Bard chatbot, as “Gemini” as part of a corporate rebrand to unify all of its offerings.

IN CHIPS NEWS…

IN OTHER TECH NEWS…

IN FINANCIALS NEWS...

IN BANKS NEWS…

IN OTHER FINANCIALS NEWS…

  • Spread-betting group CMC markets cut 17% of its workforce in a bid to cut costs and will achieve this by merging back office positions and automating jobs. This latest move comes not long after rival IG Group also announced that it would be cutting a large number of jobs. This seems to be yet another company that is “right-sizing” after a hiring frenzy in the last few years.

IN REAL ESTATE & MEDIA NEWS...

IN COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE NEWS…

IN RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY NEWS…

IN CONSTRUCTION NEWS…

IN MEDIA NEWS...

IN OTHER NEWS...

IN LEGAL ISSUES…

ELSEWHERE…