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 WEEK SAW US-CHINA TRADE TALKS, EUROZONE UNEMPLOYMENT JOY AND A RESOLUTE FRANCE...
- The week kicked off with hopes for the first round of US-China trade talks since the G20 truce (Monday) and ended with some progress and the promise of more at a higher level (Thursday)
- There was some good news for Europe as the number of jobless in the Eurozone fell below 8% (Thursday) for the first time in ten years
- French President Emmanuel Macron vowed to push forth with his reform programme (Thursday) despite the continued protests of the gilets jaunes
THE TECH SECTOR SAW SOME INTERESTING DEVELOPMENTS...
- Apple had some newsflow this week what with its decision to let iTunes users access content via non-Apple devices (Tuesday), its encouragement of trade-in to boost device sales (Wednesday) and the production cut to its iPhones (Thursday)
- Samsung was one of Apple’s “chosen ones” for TV, but painted a downbeat picture for profits (Tuesday)
- Tencent’s gaming capabilities continue to be hobbled (Friday) by the decision by Chinese authorities not to license their games as yet
- SoftBank decided “only” to invest $2bn in WeWork rather than the expected $16bn (Tuesday) as the investments in their tech-focused Vision Fund took a hammering, prompting caution
THE CAR INDUSTRY CONTINUES TO SUFFER FROM GLOBAL SLOWDOWN...
- Car sales in China fell for the first time in 20 years (Thursday) and UK car sales experienced their steepest fall in ten years (Tuesday)
- Jaguar Land Rover and Ford both announced job losses (Friday) as JLR continues to suffer from being smaller than its competitors and overexposed to China and diesel-powered vehicles whilst Ford just decided to cut costs in its loss-making European operations
- Fiat Chrysler got fined $800m (Friday) as part of the whole emissions scandal thing, although it admitted no wrongdoing as part of the deal. Criminal investigations are still ongoing, so it’s not all over yet
- Elon Musk heralded the beginning of the construction of his China factory (Tuesday), saying that it would begin production within the year (yeah right – when has he hit his deadlines?!?). The pressure’s on as everyone and their dog is producing viable alternative electric vehicles
THIS WAS A BIG WEEK FOR RETAIL AS THE FESTIVE SEASON STATS ROLLED IN...
- Tesco won the battle of the big grocers (Friday), although Aldi announced its best ever festive season (Tuesday) and Morrisons, Sainsbury’s and Waitrose had rather more downbeat fortunes (Wednesday)
- Non-food: saw strong performances for Joules (Wednesday) and Dunelm (Tuesday)
- Restaurants and bars saw brisk trading with Mitchells & Butler being the overall winner (Friday)
- Department stores saw mixed trading with Macy’s disappointing in the US (Friday), Selfridges and John Lewis doing well in the UK (Wednesday) – although the parent company of the latter was rather downbeat on its future prospects, mooting the possibility of zero bonuses (Friday) – and continued disastrous performance of Debenhams who had their chairman and chief exec ousted from the board (Friday)
I have to admit that, this week, my favourite “alternative” stories were both from Thursday. Apologies but I found Newsreader mocked for wearing ‘p3nis jacket’ on TV – people ‘can’t unsee it’ (The Mirror, Robyn Darbyshire https://tinyurl.com/yddheyta) hilarious, but I thought I’d balance this out with the altogether much cuter Japanese snow monkeys find novel way to travel during winter (SoraNews24, Oona McGee https://tinyurl.com/yatmwn85). Ahhhhhh.