Good morning! Here’s what you need to know in markets on Monday.
HSBC is set to keep its headquarters in the UK after ten months of deliberation. The Financial Times reports that the bank is leaning towards staying in Britain, and that CEO Stuart Gulliver has played down the case for leaving the UK in private meetings over recent weeks.
Asian shares got crushed on Tuesday. In a week with limited Asian trade thanks to the Lunar New Year, shares are sharply down. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 index ended the day down more than 5%. A pair of Japan’s biggest banks lost more than seven per cent each and major brokerage Nomura tanked nearly 11 per cent. Australian shares are also down nearly 3%.
It’s a day of data in Germany. Europe’s biggest economy will release trade data on everything from the country’s industrial production, to its trade balance and export volumes during December from 7:00 a.m. GMT (2:00 a.m. ET) onwards.
The price of oil fell below $30 per barrel once again on Monday. After slipping in trade towards the end of Monday, West Texas Intermediate is trading below the $30 on Tuesday morning. At the time of writing, it is up by around 0.7% to $29.92, while Brent crude is marginally down to around $32.70, a 0.5% fall.
Banking and financial stocks took a pounding in US trade yesterday. The S&P 500 financial index, already the worst performing sector this year, fell 2.6% and now stands more than 20% down from its July 2015 high, confirming the sector is in the grip of a bear market. Shares in Morgan Stanley fell by 6.9%, while Goldman lost 4.6%.
Japan became the first G7 country with a 0% yield on its benchmark 10-year government bond. Japanese bonds passed the negative/positive line for the first time on Tuesday, less than two weeks after the Bank of Japan shocked markets and moved to cut base interest rates to below zero.
The price of gold passed $1,200 per ounce on Monday evening. The markets’ favourite safe haven has been surging so far in 2016, and on Monday evening passed the $1,200 mark, often seen as significant, for the first time since June 2015. It has since pared some of its gains, and on Tuesday morning is trading at around $1,190, down 0.5%.
Britain may be forced into a sudden tax hike or spending cut to help acheive a budget surplus. As Business Insider reported on Monday, a think-tank, the Institute for Fiscal Studies, has warned that in order to bring Britain out of a budget deficit, chancellor George Osborne may have to take drastic measures, including big tax increases.
Google chief executive Sundar Pichai has been given a huge stock package. Pichai, who took over as Google CEO in late last year, has been awarded $183 million in stock by the company, which will vest themselves over the course of four years, according to a regulatory filing. The award comes in the form of 273,328 Class C shares, and is believed to be the biggest ever given by Google.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un wants to build a rocket capable of hitting the USA. Bloomberg reports that Pyongyang is aiming to build an intercontinental ballistic missile that can travel farther than 3,400 miles while carrying a warhead weighing at least one ton.
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