Good morning! Here’s what you need to know.
1. Governments around the globe launched investigations into Uber after the company disclosed it had covered up a breach that exposed data on millions of customers and drivers, the latest scandal to rock the ride-hailing firm.Authorities in Britain and the United States, two top Uber markets, as well as Australia and the Philippines said on Wednesday they would investigate the company’s response to the data breach.
2. Asian shares edged ahead on Thursday as speculation the Federal Reserve might not tighten US policy as aggressively as first thought hit the dollar and boosted bonds globally.The dollar suffered its worst one-day fall in five months on Wednesday, while hitting a three-month trough against the Japanese yen.
3. Saudi Arabia has agreed to buy about $US7 billion worth of precision guided munitions from US defence contractors, Reuters reported. Raytheon and Boeing are the companies selected in a deal that was part of a $US110 billion weapons agreement that coincided with President Donald Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia in May.
4. The government will abolish stamp duty for all first-time homebuyers on homes under £300,000 in a move that will save home purchasers up to £5,000. The Stamp Duty Land Tax, which is levied on the purchase of new homes, currently has a much lower threshold of £125,000 for residential properties in the UK, and means that 80% of first-time buyers will no longer pay any no stamp duty.
5. Tesla has completed construction of the world’s largest lithium ion battery in Australia. Tesla won a bid in July to build the 129 megawatt hour battery for South Australia, the country’s most wind power-dependent state, with a vow from Chief Executive Elon Musk to install it within 100 days of signing a grid connection agreement or give it to the state for free.
6. It is strategically important for China’s economy that the country enhances protection of intellectual property rights, Premier Li Keqiang said, as the cabinet promised to improve regulations. Inadequate protection of intellectual property had contributed to the decline in private investment, he added.
7. Deutsche Bank has joined the ranks of those warning about the virtual currency bitcoin as an investment. “I would simply not recommend this to the everyday investor,” Ulrich Stephan, chief strategist at Germany’s largest lender, said on Wednesday.
8. Venture capitalist Peter Thiel, Facebook’s first institutional investor, has sold three-quarters of his remaining stake in the social network. Thiel, who is a member of Facebook’s board, now owns 59,913 Class A shares in the company after selling 160,805 shares for about $US29 million.
9. Jamie Dimon, chief executive officer of JPMorgan Chase, said he expects to see a new US president in 2021 and advised Democrats to come up with a “pro-free enterprise” agenda for jobs and economic growth. Asked at a luncheon hosted by The Economic Club of Chicago how many years President Donald Trump will be in office, Dimon said, “If I had to bet, I’d bet three and half. But the Democrats have to come up with a reasonable candidate… or Trump will win again” and have second four-year term.
10. Tech stocks remain the largest net sector exposure for equity hedge funds, which are set to deliver their strongest returns since 2013, Goldman Sachs said. Information technology accounts for 27% of hedge fund portfolios.
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