Good morning! Here’s what you need to know in markets on Monday.
HSBC’s net profit for 2015 dropped by 1.2% from the previous year to $13.52 billion (£9.4 billion), after what it called “seismic shifts” in the world economy. Group chairman Douglas Flint described the performance as “broadly satisfactory” in a statement, although the bank’s pre-tax profit of $18.9 billion (£13.2 billion) missed analysts’ forecast of $21.8 billion (£15.2 billion).
The pound dropped in Asian trading Monday, after news on Sunday that the Mayor of London Boris Johnson will campaign for Britain to leave the EU. The added uncertainty over Britain’s future has left the pound down 0.92% against the dollar at the time of writing (6.27 a.m. GMT/1.27 a.m. ET) and down as much as 1.20% against the Australian dollar.
Bosses at more than a third of the companies in the FTSE 100 have signed a letter declaring that Britain is better in the European Union. The Independent reports that the letter is being co-ordinated by 10 Downing Street and is expected to be released on Tuesday, but signatories are known to include the chairmen or chief executives of Vodafone, BAE Systems, GlaxoSmithKline, easyJet, Barclays, BT and Shell.
It’s flash PMI day in Europe. From 8.00 a.m. GMT (3.00 a.m. ET) onwards we’ll be getting early estimates for service sector, manufacturing, and overall economic growth this month in France, Germany, and the Eurozone. Economists are forecasting a slight slowdown in Eurozone growth, from 53.6 in January to 53.5.
China’s $5 trillion (£3.5 trillion) stock market rout, now in its eighth month, has claimed its highest-profile victim yet, with Xiao Gang, the head of the nation’s security regulator, leaving his post. Chinese state-run media reported over the weekend that Xiao, the China Securities Regulatory Commission, has been replaced following a period of unprecedented market volatility.
Chinese markets are bouncing as a result of the regulatory shake-up. China’s benchmark Shanghai Composite is up 2.16% at the time of writing (6.30 a.m. GMT/1.30 a.m. ET) and the Hong Kong Hang Seng is up 0.67%. In Japan, the Nikkei closed up 0.90%.
Hundreds of millions of pounds are running through Airbnb’s UK business. The home rental platform’s UK accounts don’t disclose revenue and profit but show Airbnb was owed £168.6 million ($240.6 million) in 2014 and had run up debts of £227.6 million ($324.8 million).
There could be a new European markets crisis around the corner. Global market turmoil since the start of the year has helped set warning lights flashing in euro zone sovereign bond markets. In early February, the premium that investors charge to hold Portuguese, Spanish and Italian government debt rather than German bonds hit some of the highest levels since the euro zone crisis that peaked in 2011-2012.
Saudi Oil Minister Ali Al-Naimi will this week face the victims of his decision to keep oil pumps flowing despite a global glut: US shale oil producers. During his keynote on Tuesday at the annual IHS CERAWeek conference in Houston, Naimi will be addressing US wildcatters and executives who are struggling to survive the worst price crash in years.
The numbers are in, and it’s official: Wall Street had a horrible 2015. Poor trading results and low client activity in the second half of the year led to an overall drop in revenues for Wall Street banks, according to the data-analytics company Coalition.
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