10 things you need to know in markets today

Good morning! Here’s what you need to know in markets on Wednesday.

1. Tesla CEO Elon Musk said on Tuesday that he wants to take Tesla private at $US420 per share. In an email to employees, Musk said taking the company private is “the best path forward.”

2. Public Investment Fund, Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, has bought a minority stake in Tesla at just below 5%, a source familiar with the matter said on Tuesday. PIF did not immediately respond to a Reuters query for comment, while Tesla declined to comment.

3. Snapchat’s user base is in decline and investors are panicking. On Tuesday the messaging app’s parent company, Snap Inc., reported its Q2 2018 earnings, and it included its first-ever decline in daily active users.

4. China’s foreign exchange reserves unexpectedly rose in July even as worries over escalating trade tensions between the United States and China have caused market volatility. July FX reserves rose to $US5.82 billion, versus an expected drop of $US12.1 billion.

5. Asian shares’ recovery lost momentum on Wednesday, despite strong US earnings and expectations that Beijing will ramp up fiscal stimulus to cushion the impact of its worsening trade dispute with Washington. Japan’s Nikkei closed down 0.01%, while the Hong Kong Hang Seng is down 0.13% at the time of writing (7.50 a.m. GMT/2.50 a.m. ET), and China’s Shanghi Composite is down 1.36% at the same time.

6. China’s exports growth unexpectedly accelerated in July despite fresh US tariffs, while its trade surplus with the United States remained near record highs. Imports also rose much faster in July thanks to still solid domestic demand, official data showed on Wednesday, with purchases of commodities like copper and iron ore rising from June.

7. South Korea’s Samsung Group will invest 25 trillion won ($US22 billion) over the next three years in artificial intelligence, 5G mobile technology, electronic components for autos, and the biopharmaceutical business, Samsung Electronics said on Wednesday. Samsung Electronics, the world’s top maker of memory chips and smartphones and the group’s flagship company, did not provide a breakdown of the figures but said it will provide the majority of the investment.

8. The amount of funding raised for startups through digital tokens rose from $US3.3 billion in the first quarter to $US8.3 billion in the second, according to a new report. But the proportion of funding campaigns that failed also rose to 55%, leading analysts to say the quality of projects in the market has “significantly worsened.”

9. Federal prosecutors drafted a criminal complaint against a former Goldman Sachs banker early this year for his alleged role in a Malaysian fraud, but the charges were never filed because of a Justice Department turf battle, the New York Times reported on Tuesday. The inquiry is now with federal prosecutors in Brooklyn who are investigating Goldman Sachs itself, the Times reported, citing people familiar with the investigation.

10. Companies doing business with Iran will be barred from the United States, President Donald Trump said on Tuesday, as new US sanctions took effect despite pleas from Washington’s allies. Reuters reports that Iran dismissed a last-minute offer from the Trump administration for talks, saying it could not negotiate while Washington had reneged on a 2015 deal to lift sanctions in return for curbs on Iran’s nuclear programme.

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