10 things you need to know in markets today

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

1.Theresa May has agreed the text of a Brexit divorce deal after all night talks with European Commission president Jean Claude Juncker, the DUP and the Irish government. The prime minister made a series of calls on Thursday to the Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and the leader of the DUP Arlene Foster late on Thursday before finally agreeing a compromise position on the Northern Ireland border.

2. Bitcoin tumbled more than 12% in volatile Asian trading on Friday, dropping below the $US15,000 level after touching a record high above $US16,000 earlier in the session. Bitcoin was down 12.6% on the Bitstamp exchange at $US14,500.76 as of 0530 GMT, after rising to a record $US16,666.66.

3. Goldman Sachs will clear bitcoin futures trading for some of its clients, according to a person familiar with the plans.The derivatives, which allow traders to bet on the cryptocurrency’s price without buying the underlying asset, will be offered by the Cboe Futures Exchange from Sunday. Goldman is still exploring whether to play a role in other aspects of cryptocurrencies such as market making, the person said.

4. House crowdfunding platform Property Partner has grown the value of properties it manages by 74% to £100.7 million this year after changing its business strategy to target high-value investors and buying big-ticket student accommodation blocks.CEO Dan Gandesha said this year’s rapid growth was driven by a decision to target high-value investors for stakes above £25,000 and by purchasing purpose-built student accommodation, an asset class which is creating a buzz because of the high returns it offers.

5. Chinese trade data continues to impress with annual import and export growth, along with the nation’s trade surplus, beating expectations in November. According to China’s General Administration of Customs, imports grew by 17.7% in US dollar terms, above the 17.2% increase of October and forecasts for a smaller gain of 11.3%.

6. Japan’s economy grew faster than first thought in the three months to September.According to Japan’s Cabinet Office, real GDP grew by 0.6% in the third quarter, higher the preliminary estimate of 0.3% and above the 0.4% increase expected. Underlining just how large the quarterly beat was, it was above any individual economist forecast offered to Thomson Reuters.

7. Japanese stocks rose on Friday on gains for most sectors after Wall Street climbed overnight, while Japan Display jumped on hopes that Apple may use liquid crystal technology on one of its new smartphones. The Nikkei 225 share average ended 1.4% higher at 22,811.08, staying comfortably above the settlement price of December Nikkei futures and options contracts at 22,590.66.

8. HSBC said on Friday that it had expanded its Asian research team by hiring 15 analysts following the launch of HSBC Qianhai Securities, the first Chinese securities joint venture to be majority-owned by a foreign bank. A new team of equity research analysts based in Shenzhen will work with Asian and global colleagues to deliver a research view across sectors, including IT hardware, software, healthcare, internet, media, consumer staples and autos, the bank said.

9. The GOP tax bill has long been expected to boost corporate profits. Now we know just how much the biggest tech companies in the US stand to save – and what that could mean for their bottom lines. Google will save $US2.28 billion in 2018, while Facebook will see $US1.56 billion in savings and Amazon will enjoy a $US723 million break, according to estimates from Cowen senior research analyst John Blackledge.

10. General Electric’s (GE) power arm said it is cutting 1,100 jobs at two sites in the UK as part of a global restructure under which it will save $US1 billion (£750 million).GE Power said today the job cuts will largely be focused at its sites in Stafford and Rugby, although the cuts will affect all parts of its UK business, including power digital and global operations.

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