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.
WOW! THAT WAS ONE BIIIIIIG WEEK FOR MACRO NEWS, OIL AND BITCOIN...
- US markets showed some relief (Friday) as America’s delay in imposing the next Chinese imports tariffs was interpreted as being a conciliatory move bringing the possibility of US-China trade talks closer
- Europe had a very big news week this week what with a slowdown in eurozone growth, Italian rebellion, Swedish political instability and the publication of the Brexit “agreement” (Thursday), which caused political resignations and market volatility (Friday)
- On the plus-side for UK households, there were signs that house prices and wages were up (Monday)
- There was also a lot of chat about oil this weeks as it reached new lows (Wednesday) despite the Saudis hinting at forthcoming production cuts (Tuesday)
- Bitcoin suddenly dropped about 15% at the end of the week but I have yet to see a convincing explanation as to why it happened, so I’ll let you know when I do!
IT WAS A BIG WEEK FOR RETAILERS AS WELL...
- ...what with Walmart announcing solid figures (Friday) and Macy’s putting in a decent performance (Thursday) as some retailers decided to start Black Friday early (Friday)
- Sports Direct’s Mike Ashley announced House of Fraser store closures (Thursday), blaming landlord inflexibility on rents as the Debenhams share price got trashed (Thursday) on news that suppliers were abandoning it as they are becoming less sure of its future
THIS WEEK WAS ALSO MOMENTOUS BECAUSE OF A NEW PRODUCT...
- US vegan start-up Beyond Meat made their plant-based protein burgers available for the first time in the UK (Tuesday) via 350 branches of Tesco and outlets of the Honest Burger chain. Beyond Meat is one of a few companies trying to make “alternative” meat, along with Impossible Foods (whose product is also plant-based) and Memphis Meats (which synthesises meat from animal cells). I tried one yesterday and you can see my review a bit later on that!
TBH, there wasn’t much that made me laugh in this week’s news. I guess my favourite story was actually from a few weeks ago, but it gave me an idea as to what I might do if I won the lottery: Celebrate New Year’s Eve twice with a £20,000 flight from Toyko to Las Vegas (Metro, Faima Bakar https://tinyurl.com/y8knwylz).
I hope you have a great weekend!