10 things you need to know before European markets open

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

1. US President Donald Trump pressed his controversial travel ban plans, calling for an expedited judicial review and urging his administration to seek a tougher version of the proposal. “The Justice Dept. should have stayed with the original Travel Ban, not the watered down, politically correct version they submitted to S.C.,” Trump, referring to the US Supreme Court, wrote in a series of tweets on the issue.

2. The global economy is set to post solid growth this year, amid improving world trade and better performance by large emerging markets, but key risks could still threaten the outlook, the World Bank said. The report said that “despite substantial policy uncertainty,” the global economy still is expected to grow by 2.7% for 2017, rising to 2.9% in 2018 and 2019.

3. Sovereign investors are raising their property exposure at the expense of low-yielding bonds in an attempt to boost returns, but Brexit is seen as a significant negative for all UK investments, a study by asset manager Invesco showed. The annual report found sovereign investors underperformed their target returns by two percentage points on average over the past year.

4. Apple and Amazon will join Foxconn’s bid for Toshiba Corp’s semiconductor business, the Nikkei business daily quoted Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou as saying. The two US technology giants plan to “chip in funds”, Gou said, according the interview with the newspaper.

5. Oil prices reversed gains to trade down on Monday on concerns that the cutting of ties with Qatar by top crude exporter Saudi Arabia and other Arab states could hamper a global deal to reduce oil production. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain closed transport links with top liquefied natural gas (LNG) and condensate shipper Qatar, accusing it of supporting extremism and undermining regional stability.

6. Goldman Sachs turned down a request from Caracas to convert $US5 billion in sovereign bonds into marketable securities partly because it would mean dealing directly with a Venezuelan state bank, Reuters reported. The complexity of the operation was the primary concern for Goldman, but the Wall Street bank also weighed reputational risks after opposition politicians called it to warn about the potential damage of being seen as aiding President Nicolas Maduro’s administration.

7. An explosion rocked a petrochemical plant in the eastern Chinese province of Shandong, but the cause and extent of damage was unknown, the state news agency Xinhua reported. Deadly accidents are relatively common at industrial plants in China, and anger over lax standards has grown after three decades of swift economic growth marred by incidents from mining disasters to factory fires.

8. Banks in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have not received any regulatory guidelines about their dealings with Qatari lenders despite the rift in diplomatic ties, Reuters reported. The UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Bahrain cut diplomatic and transport links with Qatar on Monday, accusing it of supporting terrorism.

9. Jet Airways, India’s biggest full service carrier by market share, is in talks to buy 75 single aisle aircraft with an option to purchase another 75. Jet Airways, part owned by Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways, is likely to consider placing an order for either Boeing’s 737 MAX planes or aircraft from Airbus SE’s A320neo family.

10. Oil majors BP and Eni are deepening their foray into blockchain technology, starting to run blockchain trades in parallel with their live trading systems, according to developer BTL Group. The energy traders, together with Austria’s Wien Energie, had previously tested BTL’s Interbit blockchain platform over 12 weeks, carrying out trades in European natural gas.

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