17th October Briefing: Netflix earnings, Hong Kong protests, striking workers and more…

By October 18, 2019 No Comments

Hong Kong chief’s speech disrupted
Carrie Lam, the Chief Executive of Hong Kong, was speaking at the resumption of the city’s legislature after it was suspended on June 12. Opposition lawmakers interrupted her speech twice, forcing her to deliver it via video. The early closing of the session meant that the extradition bill which sparked protests could not be withdrawn.

Opposition figures projected ‘Five demands – not one less’ on the wall as she spoke. The withdrawal of the extradition bill is one of those demands, which also include the release of imprisoned protestors and universal suffrage.

Netflix earnings beat expectations
Analysts see this as a key quarter for Netflix, as new rivals from Apple and Disney will launch soon. But Netflix sees more rivals entering the market as a way to boost cord cutting, making the pie bigger for everyone. The full earnings report from Netflix showed that it missed out slightly on subscriber growth. It added 6.8m rather than 7m subscribers.

Despite this, revenue was up 31% to $5.2bn and profit grew from $271m last quarter to $665m this one. That sent the share price up 10%, reversing a downward trend over the past three months.

General Motors nears deal with strikers
Managers at General Motors, one of the largest car makers in the world, and representatives of United Auto Workers have reached a tentative agreement to end a strike which has gone on since September 16. No details of the deal were released, though a previous offer from GM gave workers a 3% pay rise over two years.

The strike has cost GM around $2bn in lost production, though workers have missed out on $624m in wages. A majority of UAW’s 48,000 members will have to vote in favour of the deal for it to pass.

Germany to allow Huawei to build 5G
German authorities have confirmed that they would allow the Chinese company to build part of the country’s infrastructure. This is despite pressure from the US, which has banned Huawei from selling equipment to telecoms companies. It accuses the firm of building in backdoors that let the Chinese government spy.

Australia and New Zealand have also banned Huawei from its telecoms industry. The UK is due to make a decision on whether it will let the Shenzhen-based company to build part of its 5G network by the end of the year.

Euro inflation slides further
The eurozone saw its lowest level of inflation in nearly three years as it dropped to 0.8%. This was below August’s 1% and below analysts’ expectations of around 0.9%. The European Central Bank has an inflation target of 2% and cut the deposit rate by 0.1% last month in an effort to try and reach it.

Lower energy prices were part of the reason for the low inflation figure. France was the only eurozone nation to have inflation of over 1%, at 1.1%. Germany’s was 0.9%, while in Italy and Spain it was only 0.2%.