10 things you need to know in markets today

Good morning! Here’s what you need to know on Monday.

1. Swiss banking giant UBS saw its profits jump 19% in the first quarter of the year, boosted by strong equity trading activity.UBS reported a net profit of 1.5 billion Swiss francs ($US1.54 billion) for the quarter, ahead of analyst forecasts, which had predicted a profit of 1.419 billion francs.

2. Asian stocks started in muted fashion on Monday as investors braced for a bevy of earnings from the world’s largest corporations, while keeping a wary eye on U.S. bond yields as they approached peaks that had triggered ructions in the past. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan dipped 0.1%, with South Korea off 0.2%.

3. Theresa May is preparing to surrender over her promise to leave the Customs Union with senior advisers to the prime minister telling the Sunday Times that she is now willing to live with a Commons defeat on the issue.May and her team “will not be crying into our beer” if they are forced to stay in a customs union, according to the report.

4. China opposes all forms of protectionism and will firmly safeguard the world’s multilateral trading system, its commerce minister wrote on Monday in the ruling Communist Party’s official newspaper. China will quicken the pace of reform and implement its pledge to opening up banks, securities and insurance, besides easing foreign ownership limits on autos, ships and aircraft, the minister, Zhong Shan, wrote in the People’s Daily.

5. One of Deutsche Bank’s biggest shareholders, Chinese conglomerate HNA has cut its stake in the bank to 7.9%, according to a U.S. regulatory filing. HNA, the aviation-to-financial services conglomerate, has been selling overseas real estate and some of its biggest financial and strategic investments following a $US50 billion acquisition spree over the past two years.

6. Britain’s financial firms need to pull together to fight cyber crime, working with government and law enforcement to attack criminals’ infrastructure and put them out of business, a report by KPMG and industry body UK Finance said on Monday.“(That) imposes cost on them (the criminals), because they then have to reconstruct that botnet, those phishing sites,” said David Ferbrache, technical director and head of cyber and space at KPMG.

7. Iran’s central bank has banned the country’s banks from dealing in cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, over money-laundering concerns, the state news agency IRNA reported on Sunday as the country tries to halt a currency crisis.“Banks and credit institutions and currency exchanges should avoid any sale or purchase of these currencies or taking any action to promote them,” IRNA said.

8. French President Emmanuel Macron is visiting the US. Macron will meet with President Donald Trump on Monday and Tuesday and will likely discuss the Iran deal that Trump de-certified in November.

9. Circle Trade, the trading operation of Circle, has increased its minimum ticket size on bitcoin trades to $US500,000 from $US250,000. The move comes during a trading lull in the market for digital currencies across crypto exchange venues.

10. Voter support for Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, battered by accusations of cronyism and other government missteps, slipped in three newspaper surveys published on Monday, as opposition parties demanded that his finance minister resign. Abe’s ratings fell three points to 30% in a poll by the Mainichi newspaper.

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