Every week at the Current we round up the biggest business stories. This week: Losses across the board, a restructuring at HP, more Greek turmoil, a female libido drug is approved, and a possible recession looming.
London suffers losses
This week London’s FTSE 100 index suffered its biggest weekly loss in 2015. China’s low manufacturing figures triggered fears in stock markets across the world of a potential global slowdown. German and French markets both fell around 3% while Wall Street plunged 3.1% in the same time frame.
The fall in stock prices corresponded to a drop in commodities prices. Oil briefly fell below $40 a barrel to cap off the longest losing streak since 1986 and the lowest price since the financial crisis. China’s economic concerns and the government’s devaluation of the yuan have commodities investors concerned that prices could drop further.
Asian stocks falling
Asian stocks also fell this week. Shanghai Composite index closed down 4.27% while Japan’s Nikkei 225 index also plunged nearly 3%. Toyota, Nissan, Honda and Mazda all shed as much as 3% while Sony fell 4%. Despite Beijing’s efforts to calm the market, volatility is still causing widespread uncertainty.
Tech giant HP has revealed that revenue in the company was down 8.1% with an 11.5% drop in the PC and printer business. HP plans on restructuring into two separate companies. One will focus on PCs and printers while the other will focus on corporate hardware and services.
Greek government is in turmoil
Despite the much anticipated successful bailout negotiations the Greek government is in turmoil. Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has resigned and called an election seeking a mandate to continue to lead. A large portion of his party has already rejected that mandate. As many as 25 Syriza MPs have allegedly defected to form a new party called Laiki Enotita (Popular Unity) led by Energy Minister Panagioyis Lafazanis who opposes the bailout deal – along with 61% of Greeks according to a recent poll. The election could spell prolonged turmoil for Greece and Europe so soon after a deal was struck. With growing uncertainty in Asia, any continuation of the Greek saga could be a major anchor on the markets and the euro.
Female libido drug approved
A new libido boosting drug for women nicknamed the female viagra will be hitting the market soon. Its maker Sprout Pharmaceuticals has already cashed in on the drug by accepting a $1bn (£640m) takeover offer from Valeant Pharmaceuticals.
Proponents of the term recession argue that the Canadian economy has been contracting for long enough to meet the definition. Others say it is still too early to tell. It is certain that the economy will be a major talking point during the election. Everyone agrees however that there is a risk of hurting confidence if the word ‘recession’ is thrown around too readily. And with a highly leveraged, and some argue overvalued housing market in Toronto, not to mention low oil prices that are going nowhere fast, Canadians could be in for a rough couple of months.
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