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Jun 28, 2019

The week in investor relations: High hopes in US-China trade talks

This week’s IR-related stories from around the web

At the start of the week Bloomberg reported that emerging market stocks strengthened for a fourth consecutive week last week on the back of recent decisions informed by central banks’ more dovish stance, which, in turn, improved investors’ appetite for risk-style assets.

The Financial Times reported that US companies are getting heavily legal by turning to their lawyers to help them address the costs of US President Donald Trump’s tariffs on goods from China, essentially looking for loopholes to help companies avoid or reduce duties.

In an unusual statistical revision, Britain’s economy is £26 bn ($33 bn) bigger than previously assessed, the Office for National Statistics announced, as it published a major adjustment of its growth data for the past 20 years, reported The Times.

In another very unusual event, both stocks and bonds are having a fantastic year, according to a report by CNBC. The S&P 500 and long-term bonds are both up more than 5 percent – only the 10th time since 1980 that both stocks and bonds have started the year on such a strong note.

President Trump fired strong criticism at Fed chairman Jerome Powell for trying to be ‘tough’ in accusing the Fed of having an ‘insane’ policy, according to The Guardian.

The Express reported that bitcoin lost $1,700 in just 15 minutes this week. But it’s not all bad news, as it is still up around 240 percent since the start of this year.

With the Woodford Equity Income Fund debacle very much in mind, Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England, told UK MPs this week that funds with illiquid assets that carry the promise of daily withdrawals posed a potential threat to the financial system, according to The Times.

Bloomberg reported Japan’s technology stocks as having a very good 2019 despite ongoing trade tensions. Internet and telecom big hitters Rakuten and SoftBank Group have proved amazing performers, closing the first six months up 74 percent and 41 percent, respectively.

CNBC revealed that Minnesota-based UnitedHealth is the favorite stock among Wall Street analysts, with Visa, Microsoft and Merck & Co all tying for second place. 

The New York Times revealed that Russian stocks are generating some of the highest returns of 2019, up more than 28 percent, compared with the S&P 500, which is up more than 16 percent.

Hackers stole $41 mn worth of bitcoin from the Binance crypto-currency exchange, reported Reuters.

For the first time in a long time, optimism became the key word on the trade relations meeting between presidents Trump and Xi Jinping, which boosted European stock markets on Friday, as hopes rose for a positive outcome between the two leaders, according to the FT.

Similarly, US stock futures were up before the opening bell on Friday, with investors anticipating something upbeat from the Trump-Xi meeting at the Group of 20 summit, reported the Wall Street Journal.