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. You will need a FULL SUBSCRIPTION to be able to click through all the links which take you to the relevant articles.
THIS WAS A WEEK OF US-CENTRIC DRAMA AND INTEREST RATES...
- Markets got excited as Trump arranged trade talks with China at next week’s G20 meeting (Wednesday) and tensions increased due to US-Iran conflict (Monday)
- Markets also got excited about the US Federal Reserve hinting about cutting rates (Thursday) as the latest meeting left them unchanged. UK interest rates were also left untouched (Friday) by the Bank of England due to uncertain economic circumstances trumping above-inflation wage rises as the main driver
- Eurozone wage growth hit new highs (Tuesday), UK consumer confidence remained quite robust (Tuesday) but manufacturing orders slowed right down (Thursday) due to Brexit-induced stockpiles being run down
THERE WERE SOME NOTABLE DEVELOPMENTS IN TECH THIS WEEK...
- Facebook announced a news cryptocurrency called Libra (Wednesday) which could bring cryptocurrencies into the mainstream – but there’s a lot of scepticism given Facebook’s recent behaviour regarding sensitive customer information. It will be put under many microscopes to ensure that it is robust enough to cope with demand. Still, it has the backing of some major banks and retailers, amongst others – so I think it stands a decent chance of success if it satisfies the regulators
- Slack had floated on the New York Stock Exchange (Friday) at a price that was much higher than expectations. It was particularly notable for the fact that it was a direct listing – not a traditional IPO. Still, it has never made a profit and faces the uphill task of living up to its potential to be “an e-mail killer”
- Huawei counted the cost of being on Trump’s naughty list (Tuesday) as it said that revenues for the next two years would be hit by a whopping €30bn as a direct result
THERE WERE SOME BIG DEVELOPMENTS FOR AIRLINES AND AEROPLANE MANUFACTURERS...
- Lufthansa surprised everyone with a profit warning (Tuesday), blaming thinner margins on fierce competition from low-cost rivals and higher fuel costs. Europe’s largest airline saw its share price fall by over 10% on the unscheduled announcement. Lufthansa added that it is also facing a potential €320m bill from German tax authorities. Ouch.
- Airbus announced strong orders for its newly-unveiled A321 XLR aircraft (Thursday) although the embattled Boeing also announced strong sales of its troubled 737 MAX (Wednesday) to British Airways owner IAG
THE UK HIGH STREET SAW MORE DRAMA...
- It was a BAD week for Bathstore, which is looking administration in the face after failing to find a buyer for the business (Thursday), Dixons Carphone announced its second profit warning in a year (Friday) mainly due to weak mobile handset sales and Monsoon Accessorize said that it wanted to push through a CVA (Friday) in order to survive
- It was a GOOD week for Dunelm, whose soft furnishing sales actually benefited from poor weather (Friday) and small coffee chain Black Sheep, which managed to raise funding from private investors (Tuesday) to finance an international expansion
This week, I thought I’d leave you with This picture tells you how stressed you are. What do you see? (India Today, https://tinyurl.com/y2kgq2jk) and the rather brilliant sounding You can hail an Uber to the Great Barrier Reef (National Geographic, Sarah Reid https://tinyurl.com/yyw9lmxk). I hope you have a great weekend!