Business review from the Economist

Market volatility spreads to China

Stock markets had another rocky week. The Nasdaq index recorded its biggest one-day decline in more than seven years and the Dow Jones industrial average fell below the level at which it started the year. A coordinated confidence-boosting effort by senior government officials in China pledging support for markets helped its stock markets chalk up their biggest single-day gains in almost three years. But the positive sentiment soon evaporated.

China's economy grew by 6.5 percent in the third quarter, year on year. That was the slowest pace since early 2009, in the depth of the financial crisis. The figure does not yet fully reflect the trade war with the U.S., because the largest portion of tariffs imposed on Chinese exports came into effect only in late September. More penalties are scheduled to be implemented in January.

Deutsche Bank released disappointing quarterly earnings. The German bank recorded sharp declines in sales and trading revenue compared with the same three months last year, a contrast to the increased income reported by U.S. investment banks. Net profit fell by 65 percent, to $266 million.

The state of New York filed a lawsuit against ExxonMobil, claiming that it misled investors about the risk that regulations on climate change posed to its business. The suit alleges that the oil company "built a facade to deceive" how it measured the risk.

A judge in California slashed the amount in total damages — from $289 million to $78 million — awarded by a jury to a school groundsman who claims his cancer was caused by Roundup, a weedkiller made by Monsanto. But the judge refused to order a retrial, a blow to Bayer, the German chemical conglomerate that took over Monsanto this year. Bayer's share price swooned after the ruling. It plans to appeal.

Facebook appointed Sir Nick Clegg as its new head of global affairs. The former British deputy prime minister said he wanted "to build bridges between politics and tech," which will involve a lot of shuffling between Silicon Valley, Washington and Brussels, Belgium.

Hoping it can overcome a costly industrial dispute that has helped wipe 40 percent off its market value this year, Air France-KLM signed a pay deal with three-quarters of its staff, which meets a threshold for the agreement to become binding and implemented.

Tesla reported a surprise, and rare, quarterly profit, of $312 million. The electric-car maker also pleased its dogged investors by improving its cash flow, which bolsters its argument that it doesn't need to turn to the markets to raise funds.

AT&T lost a further 346,000 video subscribers in the latest quarter. The migration of satellite-TV customers to online-streaming broadcasters, such as Netflix, was the rationale behind AT&T's takeover of Time Warner (since rebranded as WarnerMedia). That business reported a rise in sales in the quarter to $8.2 billion, boosted by blockbuster films such as "Crazy Rich Asians."

Global Politics from the Economist

Independents gain sway in Australia

Australia's Liberal Party lost a by-election for a seat in Sydney that had been held by Malcolm Turnbull, who was ousted as prime minister by his party in August. That means the governing coalition has lost its one-seat majority in Parliament and will have to depend on independent MPs to survive any vote of no confidence.

Thousands of people marched through Taipei, the capital of Taiwan, calling for a referendum on whether to declare official independence from China. Such a move would infuriate the Chinese government in Beijing.

Pakistan secured a $6 billion loan from Saudi Arabia to bolster its foreign reserves. The country has also turned to the IMF for help.

China's president, Xi Jinping, opened the world's longest sea bridge. Costing $20 billion, the 34-mile Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge spans the Pearl River estuary and is part of a government plan to integrate the region's cities into one giant economic and transport hub.

Muhammad bin Salman, the crown prince and effective ruler of Saudi Arabia, distanced himself from the killers of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, after the kingdom admitted that he had been murdered in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. The killing has harmed Saudi relations with Turkey and prompted Germany to halt arms sales to the country.

President Donald Trump announced that the U.S. would withdraw from an arms-control treaty with Russia that banishes short- and mid-range nuclear missiles from Europe. The treaty was signed in 1987 by Mikhail Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan.