10 things you need to know in markets today

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

1. The Meghan Markle effect has spread to yellow gold jewellery, helping boost United States sales in the first quarter of 2018 with further gains expected, jewellers said. The first three months of the year were the strongest first quarter for gold jewellery demand in the United States since 2009, according to the World Gold Council.

2. Apple has blocked Steam’s plans to extend its reach into iPhones. Steam, the dominant online store for downloaded games played on Windows PCs, had planned to release a free mobile phone app called Steam Link so that gamers could continue playing on their mobile phones while away from their desktop machines.

3. Asian shares were slightly weaker on Friday amid fragile market sentiment after U.S. President Donald Trump called off a key summit with North Korea. South Korea’s Kospi fell 0.65% and Japan’s Nikkei fell 0.3%.

4. A US jury said Samsung should pay $US539 million to Apple for copying patented smartphone features. The world’s top smartphone rivals have been in court over patents since 2011, when Apple filed a lawsuit alleging Samsung’s smartphones and tablets “slavishly” copied its products.

5. European Union negotiators dismiss as “fantasy” some main British demands for Brexit, including on the sensitive issue of the Northern Ireland border. The official accused London of failing to accept that Brexit will necessarily distance it from the EU.

6. Netflix’s stock market value ballooned to a record $US153 billion on Thursday and eclipsed Walt Disney for the first time. Netflix’s stock has surged 82% so far in 2018.

7. Russia has increased its naval activity in international waters close to Norway and its military capabilities are a growing concern, Norway’s navy chief said. Norway has an Arctic border with Russia and its economy is highly reliant on its free access to the seas.

8. Mai Mai militia attacked Banro Corp’s east Congo Namoya gold mine for the second time in less than a year. Geologist Bienfait Mukelo said the militia tried to enter the compound and seize some expatriate staff as hostages, but they were repelled in a fire fight with the guards.

9. A US Environmental Protection Agency official said he is not satisfied with Volkswagen’s efforts to improve accountability after its diesel emissions fraud.“The VW story is not over yet, not for VW and not for the EPA,” Christopher Grundler, director of the EPA’s Office of Transportation and Air Quality said.

10. Deutsche Bank erroneously transferred €21 billion to Macquarie in 2014. The transfer was a human error and not related to faulty technology.

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