10 things you need to know in markets today

Good morning! Here are the 10 things you need to know in markets on Tuesday.

China’s outbound acquisitions spree in 2015 helped push Asia-Pacific’s annual deal value past $1 trillion ($670 billion) for the first time. Asia-Pacific M&A totaled $1.2 trillion (£810 billion) so far this year, up 46% from last year, preliminary data from Thomson Reuters showed. 2016 is set to see an even bigger splurge, as Chinese firms buy even more assets abroad to sidestep slowing domestic growth.

Oil prices edged away from multi-year lows in early trade on Tuesday. Brent futures were at $36.58 (£24.57) per barrel at 5.48 a.m. GMT (00.48 a.m. ET), off an 11-year low of $36.04 (£24.21) hit on Monday. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $36.07 (£24.23) per barrel, up from 2009 lows of $33.98 (£22.82) hit in the prior session.

JPMorgan is paying $150 million (£100.7 million) to settle investor claims that it hid from them as much as $6.2 billion (£4.1 billion) in losses caused by a trader dubbed the London Whale. Bloomberg reports that a group of pension funds accused JPMorgan of turning its chief investment office in London into a “secret hedge fund” that caused the losses.

Bill Gates topped a 2015 list of the biggest insider sellers that is dominated by tech company founders. Gates sold more than $1.5 billion (£1 billion) of Microsoft stock this year, according to Sqoop.com. The founders of Google, WhatsApp, and Twitter also made the list.

Asian markets are muted with just days to go until Christmas. Japan’s Nikkei is down 0.16% at 6.22 a.m. GMT (1.22 a.m. ET), the Hong Kong Hang Seng is down 0.11%, and the Shanghai Composite is down 0.12%.

UK public sector borrowing figures are coming. The figure for November is due at 9.30 a.m. GMT (4.30 a.m. ET) and is expected to come in at £11 billion ($16.3 billion), up from £7.47 billion ($11.1 billion) in October.

British families are on course to spend £40 billion ($59.5 billion) more than they earn this year, fuelling fears that the country’s economic growth is based on soaring levels of debt and could easily collapse. The Independent reports that the forecast by the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) led to warnings that the UK could be heading towards a credit crunch similar to that of 2008 because of unsustainable levels of borrowing and household spending.

The latest third quarter GDP revision for the US is due this afternoon. The economic growth figure is expected to be revised down from 2.1% to 1.9% when it’s announced at 1.30 p.m. GMT (8.30 a.m. ET).

Google is said to be in talks with Ford to help build its autonomous cars, Automotive News reported, citing a person with knowledge of the project. The contract manufacturing deal, if finalised, is expected to come during the annual International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas during the first week of January, Automotive News said.

A SpaceX Falcon 9 reusable rocket successfully blasted off from Florida on Monday before landing safely near its launch pad in a dramatic spaceflight first. The launch and successful return of the rocket’s first stage, followed by deployment of all 11 satellites delivered to orbit for customer ORBCOMM, marked the first SpaceX flight since a June accident that destroyed a cargo ship bound for the International Space Station.

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