10 things you need to know before European markets open

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

1. The European Union is expected to propose that clearing of euro denominated securities should be moved from London to the continent after Brexit, Euronext chief executive Stephane Boujnah said on Friday. The Financial Times reports that the European Commission will next month rule on how to police euro-denominated business outside the EU and is studying how to regulate overseas clearing houses.

2. The chief executive of the London stock exchange warns that investors could face an extra €100 billion (£86 billion) bill if Brussels forces the clearing of euro-denominated trades away from London because of Brexit, the Times reports. He said the move would cause fragmentation of the €1 trillion market which forms the plumbing behind the global financial system, making it more difficult for clearing houses to offset risk, thereby increasing costs passed on to users including pensioners and savers.

3. Deutsche Boerse Chief Executive Carsten Kengeter’s defence team is negotiating with prosecutors to drop an insider trading investigation against him, German daily Handelsblatt reported on Monday, according to Reuters. In return, the German stock exchange operator may face a fine for delaying the announcement of its plans to merge with the London Stock Exchange, the report said.

4. Barclays will hire 100 new staff in its private bank as it launches its second attempt in the last seven years to win more business from wealthy clients, a source with direct knowledge of the plans told Reuters. The hires will be a mixture of relationship managers – the money-earners in private banking who attract and serve customers – and the administrative and risk management staff necessary to support them, the source said.

5. British retailer arks & Spencer will report a fresh slump in clothing sales on Wednesday after a revival at Christmas proved short-lived, the Guardian reports. The disappointing finish to the year will be revealed alongside a sharp fall in annual profits.

6. Britain’s biggest retailers are more pessimistic about the prospects for the sector this year than in any time in the past five years as fears about Brexit and consumer confidence grow, according to the Times. A survey of the men and women chairing Britain’s top 50 retailers showed that 40 per cent were pessimistic about the year ahead. Korn Ferry Institute, which carried out the survey, said that it reflected a 33 per cent increase from last year.

7. Italian investigators have seized documents from the Milan offices of International Business Machines Corp as part of an investigation into allegations of fraud at one of its customers, BT Italy, a unit of Britain’s BT Group, according to Reuters.

8. American multinational manufacturer and marketer of chemical products Huntsman Corporation and Switzerland’s Clariant have unveiled a multibillion dollar all-stock cross-border merger, allowing the two speciality chemicals companies to form a formidable industry challenger, the FT reports.

9. A lobby group for Big Tobacco has cut its ties with the industry following criticism over its attempts to influence tax policy in the sector, in a move that has been cheered by health campaigners, the FT reports. The International Tax and Investment Center, which describes itself as a “non-profit research and educational organisation,” has been sponsored by major tobacco companies including British American Tobacco and Philip Morris International.

10. Asian stocks posted their biggest daily rise in a month on Monday following modest gains in U.S. shares, though the US dollar came under renewed pressure as Washington’s political turmoil undermines confidence in U.S. economic policy, Reuters reports. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan climbed 0.9% on Monday, helped by gains in Australia and Hong Kong stocks.

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