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 WAS MAINLY ABOUT IRAN AND BITCOIN...
- The war of words between the US and Iran got more heated (Monday, Tuesday) as Trump ratcheted up the sanctions
- Bitcoin shot up, firstly through $11,000 (Tuesday) and then $13,000 (Thursday) before losing steam going into the end of the week (Friday). No one really knows why, but its value is thought to have got frothy following Facebook’s Libra unveiling last week and some are saying that it’s also due to investors trying to find ways of getting money out of China
- It’s bad news for cobalt producer Democratic Republic of Congo (Monday) as cobalt prices continue to fall due to oversupply and the drying up of demand from China. Cobalt is a key ingredient for the lithium ion batteries that power everything from mobile phones to cars
THERE WAS ALSO A LOT OF M&A GOING ON...
- Eldorado Resorts bought Caesars Entertainment (Tuesday) which could prompt others to consider/accelerate their own consolidation plans
- Capgemini bought Altran Technologies (Tuesday) to boost its existing capabilities and geographical footprint
- Apple bought driverless start-up Drive.ai (Thursday) to enhance its own autonomous division (codenamed “Project Triton”) for an undisclosed sum
- TDR Capital bought BCA Marketplace (Thursday) which will give embattled fund manager Neil Woodford something to cheer about given he owns a decent chunk of it. I bet he wished they’d completed this deal about a month ago ????
RETAIL CONTINUED TO BE QUITE DEPRESSING...
- Carrefour is pulling out of China (Monday) after spending decades banging its head against a (Great) wall. It’s selling 80% to Chinese retailer Suning.com so will still have some skin in the game if things take off
- H&M sounds like it’s making progress in its turnaround (Friday) although it’s not perfect
- Bathstore went into administration (Thursday) after the current owner decided not to pour any more money into it and no buyer was found
- Monsoon looks like it’s getting closer to making some big cuts (Tuesday) as it moots store closures as part of its bid for a CVA to survive
...AND THE NEWS FROM CAR MANUFACTURERS WASN'T EXACTLY UPLIFTING EITHER...
- Ford announced that it would axe 12,000 from its European workforce (Friday) as part of its cost-cutting measures and efforts to get its business in the region out of the red and back into the black
- Vauxhall said it will shut its UK operations IF there was a No-Deal Brexit (Friday), but let’s face it – Brexit is just one of a number of bigger reasons why the PSA Group-owned car marque would be cutting production
This week, I thought I’d leave you this heart-warming story – Pink fan gives birth to baby girl during singer’s first song at Liverpool concert (The Mirror, Jenny Kirkham http://tinyurl.com/yxf4ob3x). Amazing! I hope you all have an enjoyable weekend!