Good morning! Here’s what you need to know in markets on Wednesday.
Oil prices are still falling. Brent is down 1.29% to $32.84 (£23.45) and US crude is down 2.10% to $31.20 (£22.28) at the time of writing (6.30 a.m. GMT/1.30 a.m. ET), extending sharp falls from the previous session after top exporter Saudi Arabia ruled out production cuts and industry data showed a further build in US crude stockpiles. Meanwhile, Iran made clear it has no interest in restraining production after sanctions against it were lifted.
The pound is still at a 7-year low against the dollar. The pound is down 0.26% to 1.3984 against the dollar at the time of writing (6.30 a.m. GMT/1.30 a.m. ET).
Asian stock markets are mostly down. China’s benchmark Shanghai Composite is up 0.20% at the time of writing (6.30 a.m. GMT/1.30 a.m. ET), but the Hong Kong Hang Seng is down 1.31% and Japan’s Nikkei closed down 0.85%.
Daniel Pinto, CEO of JPMorgan’s corporate and investment bank, says the firm’s investment-banking revenues are forecast to be down 25% in the first quarter. Markets revenues are down 20% year-on-year, Pinto said, speaking at JPMorgan’s Investor Day conference.
BHP Billiton shares were smoked overnight in Australia, notching up its biggest one-day drop since the depths of the financial crisis. The Financial Times reports that shares in the mining giant tumbled 8.2% to A$16.18 (£8.32), the biggest one-day drop since December 2, 2008, but also one of its biggest on record, according to analysis of daily Bloomberg data back to 1989.
Airbus boosted profit by 1.6% last year as the planemaker ramped up deliveries of the latest A350 model, opened its first US assembly line and cut jobs at a defence arm that’s struggled for growth. Bloomberg reports that earnings before interest and tax rose to €4.13 billion (£3.25 billion) from €4.07 billion (£3.21 billion) a year earlier, excluding one-time items, as sales gained 6% to €64.5 billion (£50.8 billion). Analysts had forecast a profit of €4.38 billion (£3.45 billion), based on 14 estimates.
Two Sigma, the $30 billion (£21.42 billion) hedge fund that uses artificial intelligence and advanced technologies to find investment opportunities, asked a bunch of Wall Street analysts what they’re worried about. More than 120 researchers responded, estimating the probability of nine different “tail risks.” “Not surprisingly, respondents (60 per cent) cited a hard landing in China, defined as a GDP growth of less than 3 per cent per year, as a tail risk that warrants concern,” the note said.
Viacom is considering selling a “significant” minority stake in its Paramount Pictures movie studio, Chief Executive Philippe Dauman said on Tuesday. In the face of weak advertising sales and poor ratings at its cable networks, investors have been urging Viacom to sell all or part of the movie studio, saying possible buyers include Chinese firms and tech companies looking to develop original content.
Mortgage approval data is coming. The British Bankers Association (BBA) will announcing mortgage approval data for January at 9.30 a.m. GMT (4.30 a.m. ET). Economists are forecasting 45,200 approvals, up from 43,975 in December.
Powa Technologies, the London payments business once valued at £1.8 billion ($2.7 billion) that collapsed into administration last Friday, has laid off 74 of its 311 staff. Business Insider first reported that Powa was making a number of staff redundant on Tuesday morning redundant on Tuesday morning and Deloitte confirmed the lay offs in an email yesterday afternoon.
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