The world this week--Business
Twitter insisted that it would enforce the buy-out deal it struck with Elon Musk, for $44bn, after Mr Musk said he was putting the offer on hold.
Mr Musk wants the company to provide evidence that spam and fake accounts make up less than 5% of all its users, as claimed by Twitter.
Mr Musk thinks the figure is 20%.
Investors wonder what he is up to.
Mr Musk may be trying to get a lower price for the deal, or be seeking to walk away and pay a $1bn break-up fee.
Investors took fright when a batch of company earnings revealed that higher costs and disrupted supply chains were hurting their business.
Target’s share price slumped by 25% after the retailer issued a profit warning.
Walmart said that higher food prices were also eating into its profits. Its share price swooned.
The S&P 500 plunged by 4%, its biggest one-day loss since mid-2020.
The NASDAQ composite fell by 4.7%, as tech giants such as Amazon and Apple shed more than 5% of their value.
António Guterres, the UN secretary-general, warned of a coming global food shortage caused by the war in Ukraine that would particularly affect developing countries.
He called for Ukraine’s grain supplies to be released from its ports, and for Russian food and fertiliser exports to be allowed to resume trading on world markets.
Global wheat prices surged after India, the world’s second-biggest producer, decided to halt exports of the grain as it tackles soaring domestic food prices.
Similar price increases have destabilised neighbouring Sri Lanka.
Wheat supplies were already tight following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Higher commodity prices were one reason why Japan’s economy shrank by 0.2% in the first three months of the year over the previous quarter.
The country’s import costs have risen as the yen has fallen to a 20-year low.
Britain’s annual rate of inflation leapt to 9% in April, the highest level in four decades.
Britain now has the worst rate of inflation in the G7.
Andrew Bailey, the governor of the Bank of England, said there was not much he could do about it, singling out “apocalyptic” rises in food prices as an external cause, although energy costs account for much of Britain’s inflation.
His calls for restraint on pay increases, which firms usually pass on to consumers, have not gone down well with cash-strapped workers.
McDonald’s decided to pull out of Russia for good, two months after closing its outlets there at the start of Russia’s war on Ukraine.
“The Golden Arches will shine no more in Russia,” lamented the chief executive.