10 things you need to know in markets today

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

BHP Billiton early on Tuesday posted a massive half-year loss of $5.7 billion (£4 billion), more than halved its dividend, and abandoned its progressive policy of keeping payouts the same or higher. It’s the big miner’s first loss in 16 years and revenue was down 37% to $15.7 billion (£11.1 billion), as falling commodity prices continue to cut into the business.

Almost 200 British business leaders including executives at BT, Marks & Spencer, Asda, Vodafone, and BAE Systems have signed a pro-European letter published in the Times. The letter reads: “We believe that leaving the EU would deter investment, threaten jobs and put the economy at risk.”

Chris Yoshida, the global head of rates sales at Deutsche Bank, is in talks over his future at the bank, according to people familiar with the matter. Yoshida was hired to that role in May 2014 from Morgan Stanley, where he had been head of interest-rate distribution in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

Asian shares are down. The Shanghai Composite is down 1.55% at the time of writing (6.20 a.m. GMT/1.20 a.m. ET), while the Hong Kong Hang Seng is down 0.03%. In Japan, the Nikkei closed down 0.37%.

But Wall Street bounced. Overnight on Monday US stocks were higher across the board, continuing last week’s rally that was the year’s best. The Dow gained 1.4%, while both the NASDAQ and the S&P500 closed up 1.5%.

Oil is diving again. At 6.25 a.m. GMT (1.25 a.m. ET) European Brent is down 1.59% at $34.14 (£24.20) and US crude is down 1.74% at $32.81 (£23.26). Market watchers are blaming concerns over Iranian oil production adding to oversupply woes.

Steve Englander, head of G10 FX strategy at Citi, met with clients in Asia last week and found that almost everyone was down on the global economy. In the view of Citi’s clients, China is in debt up to its eyeballs from propping-up manufacturers, the US is in debt to consumers who aren’t spending enough, and everywhere in between is a mess.

Oil and gas producers in the UK North Sea will spend 40% less this year than in 2014, the industry’s lobby group said Tuesday. Bloomberg reports that capital expenditure will drop to £9 billion ($12.7 billion) this year from £11.6 billion ($17.3 billion) last year and £14.8 billion ($20.8 billion) in 2014.

The pound is falling again although it’s off the 7-year lows it hit yesterday. At 6.35 a.m. GMT (1.35 a.m. ET) the pound is down 0.27% against the US dollar at 1.4111.

Fitbit shares dropped by as much as 15% in after-hours trading in the US on Monday after the company reported quarterly results. Profits and revenues for the fourth quarter crushed estimates, but the fitness device manufacturer’s guidance for the current quarter was weak.

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