Good morning! Here’s what you need to know on Monday.
1. HSBC on Monday said profit rose 5% in the first half of the year, as Europe’s biggest bank reduced operational costs and increased income in its core markets of Britain and Hong Kong. Pre-tax profit reached $US10.2 billion in the six months through June, from $US9.7 billion in the same period a year earlier, HSBC said in a statement. The result compared with the $US9.5 billion average estimate of analysts polled by the bank.
2. An ally of British foreign minister Boris Johnson has criticised the Brexit transition plans of finance minister Philip Hammond, a newspaper said, in the latest sign of tensions within the government over how Britain should leave the European Union. Gerard Lyons, a former economic adviser to Johnson when he was London mayor, described concern about a “cliff-edge” Brexit as “alarmist talk” similar to the fear of the Y2K bug threat to computers at the turn of the millennium.
3. Japan’s biggest bank Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group is reportedly set to move its European investment operations from London to Amsterdam because of the uncertainty posed by Brexit. The Financial Times reports that the move “could involve hundreds of jobs moving to Amsterdam out of the 2,100 people MUFG employs in London,” but is initially expected to impact around 100 roles.
4. China’s economy continued to perform strongly in July, continuing the theme seen in the first half of the year. According to China’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the nation’s manufacturing Purchasing Manager’s Index (PMI) came in at 51.4 in June, moderating slightly on the 51.7 level previously reported in June. It also missed market expectations for a smaller decline to 51.6.
5. Five banks, including British-based bank Standard Chartered Plc, have agreed to pay a total of $US111 million to settle claims that they manipulated currency markets, as the foreign exchange scandal continues to haunt the finance industry. The settlements include $US50 million for Morgan Stanley, $US15.5 million for RBC, $US18 million for Societe Generale , $US17.2 million for Standard Chartered Plc and $US10.5 million for Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ.
6. London copper rallied to within a whisker of its highest in more than two years on Monday after manufacturing data from top user China confirmed growth tempered slightly but stayed firm in July. London Metal Exchange copper was up 0.6% at $US6,382 a tonne as of just before 6.40 a.m BST.
7. Oil prices rose to their highest levels since May early on Monday as a dip in U.S. output tightened the market and the threat of sanctions against Venezuela kept traders on edge. Brent crude futures , the international benchmark for oil prices, were trading up 16 cents or 0.3% at $US52.38 per barrel as of 6.40 a.m. BST. Prices earlier hit $US52.76, the highest level since May 25.
8. Apple is removing virtual private network (VPN) services from its app store in China, VPN service providers said on Saturday, accusing the U.S. tech giant of bowing to pressure from Beijing to comply with stringent cyberspace regulations. VPNs allow users to bypass China’s so-called “Great Firewall” aimed at restricting access to overseas sites.
9. Investment bank Jefferies has hired Peter Seccia, a former Goldman Sachs partner, as global head of equity derivatives. He will be based in New York, and will work closely with global head of equities Peter Forlenza and Matt Foulds, global head of equities distribution. “Peter’s global experience and longstanding relationships further strengthen Jefferies’ extensive credentials in equities and beyond,” Forlenza and Foulds said in a statement.
10. Barely a month after approving the inclusion of Chinese shares in its benchmark emerging market index, MSCI is warning that companies in China that suspend trading in their shares for too long risk being dropped. MSCI’s head of research for Asia Pacific, Chin Ping Chia, said China was an outlier in global markets with too many suspensions in stock trading. He said the U.S. index provider was closely monitoring the 222 China-listed A-shares that will be added to its Emerging Markets Index next year.
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