Good morning! Here’s what you need to know in markets on Thursday.
1. Saudi Arabia has reportedly called off plans to take state oil company Aramco public. The initial public offering would have been the largest deal in history.
2. The US and China both implemented tariffs on $US16 billion worth of each other’s goods on Thursday. The latest tit-for-tat escalation comes as representatives from both sides meet in Washington for further talks.
3. Asian shares started cautiously on Thursday amid speculation US President Donald Trump’s political position could be threatened by the legal woes of two former advisers. Japan’s Nikkei closed up 0.25%. The Hong Kong Hang Seng is down 0.43% at the time of writing (7.15 a.m. BST/2.15 a.m. ET) and China’s Shanghai Composite is up 0.55% at the same time.
4. The equity bull market is now the longest on record, at 3,453 days. The benchmark S&P 500 has surged a whopping 323% over the period.
5. It’s PMI day in Europe. IHS Markit will release preliminary estimates for service sector, manufacturing, and composite growth in France, Germany, and Europe as a whole in August from 8.15 a.m. BST (3.15 a.m. ET) onwards. Overall European growth is expected to accelerate slightly.
6. The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Wednesday rejected applications for nine bitcoin-based exchange-traded funds (ETF) from three separate companies. ETF provider Direxion proposed to list and trade five bitcoin ETFs, while GraniteShares and ProShare presented two each, all of which were rejected by the SEC.
7. The Russian ruble fell 1% on Wednesday, putting it on track for its lowest close since June 2016. The sell-off came as Washington imposes new sanctions against Moscow. The ruble is down 0.27% to $US0.0147 at the time of writing (7.08 a.m. BST/2.08 a.m. ET).
8. Jackson Hole kicks off today. The economic symposium, which is sponsored by the Kansas Fed, brings together the top economists in the US and is closely watched for signals about future economic policy. The US dollar index is up 0.28% to 95.35 ahead of the meeting.
9. Xiaomi posted a profit of 14.6 billion yuan ($US2.1 billion) on 45.2 billion yuan revenue. The company’s main business – smartphones – saw sales increase 58.7% versus last year.
10. RBC Capital Markets is trying to address investor anxiety surrounding the nascent marijuana industry. RBC estimates that the US’s legal marijuana sales could reach $US47 billion in the next decade.
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