WEEKEND ECONOMIST: Half-time report

At the halfway mark of the profit reporting season, the outlook is solid. While there were a few more disappointments over the last week, 40 of the 69 major companies to have reported so far have seen their results beat expectations.

The big news of the week came from the US, where the Federal Reserve continued the process of unwinding the liquidity support it provided to financial markets by increasing its discount rate, or the rate at which banks can borrow from the Fed, from 0.5 per cent to 0.75 per cent.

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