Good morning! Here’s what you need to know in markets on Friday.
1. Spanish police say five alleged suspects were killed in an apparent counterterrorism operation in the town of Cambrils, early Friday morning. Several of the suspects, armed with guns, were discovered during a security check, according to BBC’s translation of La Vanguardia, a Spanish newspaper.
2. US stocks sold off on Thursday as false rumours swirled that Gary Cohn, President Donald Trump’s top economic adviser, was resigning. The concern on Wall Street was that Cohn’s departure could stifle some of the administration’s business-friendly plans including tax reform. By the market close, the S&P 500 had logged its second largest one-day decline of the year.
3. Japan’s Nikkei share average skidded to three-month lows on Friday, pressured by losses on Wall Street and a weaker dollar. The Nikkei is down 1.21% at the time of writing (6.25 a.m. BST/1.25 a.m. ET), while elsewhere in Asia the Hong Kong Hang Seng is down 0.52%, and China’s Shanghai Composite is up 0.07%.
4. Three US pension funds sued six of the world’s largest banks on Thursday, including Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan Chase & Co, accusing them of conspiring to stifle competition in the more than $US1 trillion (£780 billion) stock lending market. In the lawsuit filed in a Manhattan federal court, the funds accused the banks of boycotting startup lending platforms by threatening and intimidating their potential clients.
5. India’s No. 2 IT Services company Infosys said Vishal Sikka had resigned as managing director and chief executive of the company with immediate effect, sending shares tumbling more than 7% in early trading on Friday. The move comes after a protracted war of words between the company and its founders and some former executives, who were unhappy with various decisions taken by the board.
6. Chinese personal computer maker Lenovo posted a first-quarter loss on Friday citing higher costs and slower growth in the personal computer market. The $US72 million (£55.8 million) loss the company reported for the three months ended June was its first quarterly loss since September 2015, and compared with a profit of $US173 million (£134.1 million) for the same period last year.
7. Alibaba, China’s top e-commerce firm, beat analyst estimates with a 56% rise in first-quarter revenue, driven by strong online sales. Thursday’s results show that Alibaba Group, one of Asia’s most valuable companies, continues to derive the lion’s share of its revenue from e-commerce, despite strong growth in its entertainment and cloud businesses.
8. GitHub CEO Chris Wanstrath will step down from his role as soon as he finds a replacement. Wanstrath, one of three founders of the popular development platform for computer programmers, announced his plan at an all-hands meeting in San Francisco on Thursday, where the company was celebrating hitting a new financial milestone, according to Forbes, which first reported the news.
9. Clothing retailer Gap reported better-than-expected second-quarter results and raised its full-year profit forecast, helped by strong demand for Old Navy products and fewer discounts, and its shares rose about 5%. The company’s overall same-store sales increased 1% in the three months ended July 29, while analysts were expecting sales to be flat year-over-year, according to research firm Consensus Metrix.
10. Ford will reportedly pay $US10.1 million (£7.8 million) to settle charges of alleged sexual and racial harassment at two facilities located in the Chicago area, according to a report from the Detroit News. The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) led an investigation into the matter and said in a statement Tuesday that it found “reasonable cause to believe that personnel at two Ford facilities in the Chicago area, the Chicago Assembly Plant, and the Chicago Stamping Plant, had subjected female and African-American employees to sexual and racial harassment.”
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