News & Insight Weekly Newsletters

25 March 2022 | William Buckhurst

That Was The Week That Was


  • The UK consumer confidence index plummeted 5 points to minus 31 in March, the fourth consecutive fall and the lowest reading in 17 months
  • A sudden 14bps rise on Friday afternoon saw the US ten-year treasury yield go through 2.50% at one point, up from around 1.70% just a month ago
  • A record $319bn of share buybacks have been authorised so far this year, according to Goldman Sachs. There were $267bn in share buybacks at the same point in 2021


  • Halma released a trading statement saying that they expect to continue to grow for the year to the end of March and that pre-tax profits will be in line with expectations
  • Tencent saw strong revenue growth but slower than previous years due to the Chinese government crackdown on gaming and slower advertising revenue
  • Alibaba raised its share buyback programme to $25bn, its largest ever repurchase
  • Nestle announced that they will significantly scale back what they sell in Russia apart from baby food, specialist veterinary meals and medical-nutrition products
  • Saudi Aramco reports blockbuster earnings of US$110bn, twice last year’s number, as the oil giant continues to benefit from the well-flagged hike in crude prices


Knights Group, the legal and professional services specialists, lost 60% of its value as they blamed Omicron and recent “macro conditions” that have slowed their growth to a greater extent than they expected. In the week that saw the two-year anniversary to the first lockdown one explanation was due to a greater illness rate amongst employees which delayed the return to office working. Clearly no knights in shining armour!


1989: The Exxon Valdez tanker runs aground in Alaska, leading to the worst oil spill in American waters (at the time)

2000: Sister publication to the Wall Street Journal, Barron’s publishes its latest edition with the cover story of “Burning Up”, warning investors to be cautious at the tech bubble peak


Terry Smith's annual meeting this week where he said that investors should look at the Ukraine war “historically rather than hysterically”.  He also said that Paypal was “unsatisfactory but we still think we’ve got a good business”, saying he would stick with the company as long as the focus returns to the core of online payments.  However, the stock has now dropped outside his top ten


With Russia and Ukraine producing 25% of the world's barley and wheat supplies, the lack of planting for this year's harvest will have a significant impact on global food supplies. Coupled with the recent floods in China leaving their third crop unplanted - the upcoming harvests looks bleak. Wheat and barley prices are already up 21% and 33% respectively, and the resulting food shortages could trigger global unrest. In response, Egypt, one of the world’s largest importers of wheat, have been reviewing a popular bread subsidy



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 As at 25th March 2022. Source: Financial Express



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