Good morning! Here’s what you need to know in markets on Friday.
Samsung boss Lee Jae-Yong has been arrested over corruption claims. The vice-chairman and notional head of the world’s biggest smartphone maker is facing bribery, corruption and embezzlement charges over payments Samsung made to a close friend of South Korean president Park Geun-hye, who has been impeached over the scandal.
Snapchat’s parent company, Snap Inc., is seeking to price its initial public offering at $US14 to $US16 a share, setting its valuation below initial expectations, according to documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Committee on Thursday. The updated filing confirms Snap is looking to sell 200 million class A shares. That would raise about $US3.2 billion, and Snap estimates its proceeds from the deal would be $US2.1 billion to $US2.3 billion. The rest would go to founders and other insiders.
President Trump held an explosive 77-minute long press conference on Thursday afternoon. For its first 56 seconds, the press conference focused on exactly that — Trump’s nomination of Alexander Acosta to fill his newest void. For the next 76 minutes Trump battled with the press, attempted to downplay the growing Russia controversy, listed off what he called accomplishments from his first month in office, and said enough newsworthy statements to fill hours of cable-news programming.
Japan’s Nikkei share average fell on Friday with the market wary of a stronger yen and financials weakened as U.S. bond yields fell after comments by a senior U.S. Federal Reserve official were viewed as relatively dovish. The Nikkei ended down 0.6% at 19,234.62 points. For the week, the benchmark index fell 0.7%.
The major US equity indexes except the Dow closed lower on Thursday, ending a five-day streak of record highs. The Dow scored an all-time closing high. The Dow ended at 20,619.77 points, up 0.04%, while the S&P 500 lost 0.09% to end Thursday at 2,347.22. The tech-heavy Nasdaq fell 0.08% to 5,814.90.
Initial jobless claims in the USA rose less than expected. Claims, which count the number of people who applied for unemployment insurance for the first time in the past week, ticked up to 239,000. This marks the 102nd consecutive week that the reading came in below 300,000.
Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan has again defended the gold standard monetary system that the US dropped in the 1930s. “I view gold as the primary global currency,” Greenspan said in the February edition of Gold Investor. “Today, going back on to the gold standard would be perceived as an act of desperation. But if the gold standard were in place today we would not have reached the situation in which we now find ourselves.
The head of UBS Investment Bank Andrea Orcel gave a stark warning about the future of the City of London. “London is a very important financial-services center and it has positioned itself as the window into Europe. That window is about to be reduced, or shut. You take MiFID [the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive]. If I want to apply MiFID, by the book, I will not be able to do any business in Europe from London,” Orcel told Business Insider’s Matt Turner.
The British people will change their minds and force Prime Minister Theresa May to stay in the European Union, said a senior Labour MP. Former Culture Secretary Ben Bradshaw told Business Insider Deutschland’s John Stanley Hunter that the UK would ultimately choose to “pull back” from the Brexit cliff. “If Theresa May cannot push her conditions through… during the exit negotiations, Britons will realise the reality of Brexit,” he said.
The reasons behind Britain’s inflation surge are not what most think. Societe Generale strategist Albert Edwards says it’s nothing to do with Brexit but rather a much wider trend. It’s “stupidity” to link inflation result of the pound’s fall, because US and German inflation have bounced even quicker than the UK.