Good morning! Here’s what you need to know in markets on Thursday.
1. President Donald Trump’s administration has rolled out a tax plan that proposes to slash corporate taxes, tweak personal tax rates, and eliminate most deductions used by wealthier Americans. The plan was announced on Wednesday by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn during a White House press briefing.
2. US stocks closed little changed on Wednesday, despite the unveiling of the White House’s new tax plan. The Dow and the S&P 500 dipped into the red, while the Nasdaq finished flat.
3. Japanese stocks are lower despite an upbeat announcement from the Bank of Japan. The central bank kept monetary policy unchanged on Thursday and offered its most optimistic assessment of the economy in nine years, Reuters reports. The Nikkei stock market is down 0.19% at the time of writing (6.30 a.m. BST/1.30 a.m. ET), while elsewhere in Asia the Hong Kong Hang Seng is up 0.04%, and China’s Shanghai Composite is up 0/09%.
4. Didi Chuxing, China’s top ride-hailing firm, is set to raise a $US5 billion (£3.8 billion) funding round that values the company at about $US50 billion (£38.8 billion). Investors in the round include Softbank Group, Silver Lake Partners, China Merchants Bank, and Bank of Communications, according to a person familiar with the matter.
5. The number of full-time staff working in shops is collapsing, new data shows, underlining the fact that High Street retailers are struggling to adapt. The number of people working in retail shop floors across Britain fell by 3.9% in the first quarter of 2017 compared to the same quarter a year ago, according to the British Retail Consortium (BRC).
6. The ECB will announce its rates decision today. The central bank is expected to leave the headline interest rate unchanged at 0% and the deposit rate for banks at -0.4% when it announces its latest decision at 11.45 a.m. BST (6.45 a.m. ET). President Mario Draghi will give a press conference discussing the results 45 minutes after the announcement.
7. A senior Deutsche Bank executive has warned that nearly half the German lender’s 9,000 staff in the UK could be forced to leave the country under pressure from regulators because of Brexit. The Financial Times reports that the comments by Sylvie Matherat, head of regulation at Deutsche, represent the most serious warning from Germany’s biggest bank about the impact of Brexit on its activities in Britain, where it runs one of the largest investment banking operations in the City of London.
8. US bank JPMorgan Chase is zooming in on Warsaw as a destination for its new back office operations centre which could eventually employ several thousand people supporting the bank’s European and Asian business, sources said. As Britain prepares to leave the European Union, and banks and other financial firms look to shift jobs from London’s financial centre, Poland has set its sights on mid-tier work where salaries may not be astronomical but jobs are numerous.
9. The world’s biggest insurance firms are more worried about politics around the globe than any other macroeconomic risk, according to a survey by Goldman Sachs Asset Management. The results illustrate a big shift in what is troubling chief investment officers and chief financial officers at 317 insurers worldwide.
10. Online money transfer service TransferWise is launching a new regional hub in Singapore. The fintech business announced on Thursday that it is opening a new office in Singapore that will act as a hub for the Asia-Pacific region.