Good morning! Here’s what you need to know in markets on Wednesday.
1. UK Government borrowing has dropped to its lowest level since the eve of the 2008 financial crisis, official figures reported in the Times revealed yesterday. The annual shortfall in the public finances stands at £52 billion, down by £20 billion in the past year, according to the Office for National Statistics. At 2.6%, the deficit is the smallest as a share of GDP for nine years.
2. Confectionery giant Nestle plans to cut almost 300 UK jobs, mainly in York and Newcastle, and move production of the Blue Riband chocolate biscuit to one of its factories in Poland, reports the BBC. A Nestle spokesman denied the proposals were anything to do with Brexit, and told the BBC: “This move would be necessary irrespective of the decision to leave the EU.”
3. Fast-growing online mattress retailer Eve Sleep is seeking to raise £35 million in an initial public offering on the London Stock Exchange’s AIM market, Business Insider understands. The startup is exploring a public listing that could value the two-year-old business at up to £200 million, according to a document seen by BI.
4. Oil prices resumed their downward trend on Wednesday as data showed a rise in U.S. crude inventories and record supplies in the rest of the world cast doubt on OPEC’s ability to cut supplies and tighten the market, reports Reuters. Brent crude futures, the international benchmark for oil prices, were at $US51.99 (£40.50) per barrel, down 0.2% from their last close.
5. The London Stock Exchange Group is reporting results for the first time since the EU blocked its proposed merger with Deutsche Boerse today. Two analysts have rated the stock with a hold recommendation and eight have issued a buy recommendation on the company, according to a Cerbat Gem report.
6. Asian stocks extended gains for a fifth consecutive day on Wednesday, as optimism grew about the US economy and political concerns in France ebbed, reports Reuters. Japan’s Nikkei is 1.01% higher at the time of writing (6.43 a.m. BST/1.43 a.m. ET), the Hong Kong Hang Seng is up 0.67%, and China’s Shanghai Composite is up 0.35%.
7. US President Donald Trump will unveil plans to slash corporate taxes today in a move that is likely to put him on collision course with Republicans in Congress over increasing the budget deficit, the Times reports. The White House proposal is expected to include a provision to lower the rate US companies pay from 35% to 15%, part of a campaign pledge Mr Trump made last year.
8. The tech-heavy US benchmark Nasdaq Composite breached the 6,000 level for the first time on Tuesday as investors pile into technology and smaller companies with strong growth prospects amid concerns Donald Trump will be unable to spark inflation through tax cuts and big public spending plans, according to the FT. Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, and Google led the charge.
9. Fintech startup Pockit has raised close to £3 million ($US3.8 million) since the end of last year, according to documents filed with Companies House. Pockit raised a combined £2.36 million issuing new ordinary shares in April, filings show. The startup also raised just over £600,000 issuing new Seires A shares in December. It’s not clear from the filings who the money was raised from.
10. Luxury goods group LVMH and billionaire businessman Bernard Arnault announced on Tuesday a deal to simplify their relationship with Christian Dior by buying out its minority shareholders, a transaction aimed at boosting LVMH’s earnings, reports Reuters. Arnault’s family company said it would offer 172 euros (£147) in cash and 0.192 shares in Hermes, in which Arnault also has a stake, to buy each remaining Christian Dior share it does not currently hold.