30th April 2018
Facebook brushes off Cambridge analytica scandal
The busiest week of earnings season has been an up-and-down, or rather a down-then-up, one for global equity markets. After Caterpillar, the biggest manufacturer of construction equipment in the world, suggested that its better-than-expected first quarter earnings will be the “high-water mark” for 2018, stocks rebounded after a display of resilience from the recently troubled US tech sector.
First quarter earnings for Facebook and Amazon exceeded expectations despite the Cambridge Analytica and threats of tougher regulation from the Trump administration.
Elsewhere there was the “historic” summit between the leaders of North and South Korea. It was historic only in the sense that they met at the demilitarised zone instead of 114 miles north in Pyongyang. There were similar summits in 2000 and 2007 that didn’t lead to any material improvement in Korean relations, let alone an end to the official state of war on the peninsula. Nevertheless, the news seemed to soothe investors with the KOSPI ticking up and the South Korean won strengthening slightly against the dollar.