Good morning! Here’s what you need to know in markets on Monday.
1. European negotiators will insist that Britain must agree “detailed” terms on Britain’s future relationship with the EU, in plans that would scupper any attempt by Theresa May to avoid parliamentary defeat by only offering MPs a vote on a vague “declaration of intent” deal. The prime minister has insisted that MPs will be given a “meaningful vote” on whatever deal May secures from Brussels in October.
2. Jeremy Corbyn is to confirm a shift in the Labour Party’s position on remaining in the customs union after Brexit, Sir Keir Starmer has indicated. The shadow Brexit secretary said Labour’s front bench was “unanimous” in its backing for striking a new deal with the EU after Brexit.
3. Asian markets were in a guardedly upbeat mood on Monday, heading into an event-packed week headlined by U.S. inflation data and the first House testimony by the new head of the Federal Reserve. Japan’s Nikkei closed up 1.2%, the Hong Kong Hang Seng is up 0.82% at the time of writing (6.20 a.m. GMT/1.20 a.m. ET), and China’s Shanghai Composite is up 1.33% at the same time.
4. easyJet’s billionaire founder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou is getting into fintech by launching his own online savings and lending platform. easyMoney will help write online peer-to-peer loans secured against people’s property. The capital will be drawn from investors in easyMoney’s new “Innovative ISA”, which is targeting annual interest of 4% for investors.
5. The recent boom in cryptocurrencies isn’t just creating wealth for companies issuing their own digital tokens or investors speculating on them – compliance guys are doing well too. Onfido, which automates ID checks, saw a 10x increase in crypto-related business in the fourth quarter of last year.
6. Samsung announced the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ on Sunday at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) event in Barcelona. The biggest advancement in the Galaxy S9 is the camera. Samsung said the new camera could outperform its own Galaxy S8, which was one of the best smartphone cameras you could buy.
7. Several central banks are delivering speeches today. European Central Bank board member Benoît Cœuré is giving a speech at 10.00 a.m. GMT (5.00 a.m. ET) at first meeting of the Working Group on Euro Risk-Free Rates. Then ECB chief Mario Draghi is addressing the ECON Hearing at the European Parliament at 2.00 p.m. GMT (9.00 a.m. ET). The Bank of England’s Sir Jon Cunliffe is also giving a speech at an event at 6.00 p.m. GMT (1.00 p.m. ET).
8. British food delivery company Deliveroo said on Monday it will create 250 new tech jobs in London this year to improve operations. Reuters reports that the company, known for its green and white kangaroo logo, is recruiting data scientists, software engineers, product designers, and specialists in cybersecurity.
9. Sir Philip Green asked HSBC to help him find a buyer for his sprawling retail empire, according to a leaked email that casts doubt on the tycoon’s vehement denial of reports he was plotting a sale. The Guardian reports that the billionaire, whose Arcadia Group includes fashion outlets Topshop and Miss Selfridge, discussed plans to sell his retail brands over dinner with two bankers from HSBC in February 2016, the email shows.
10. Toys R Us is seeking bids for its stores in Continental Europe just hours before it plans to place its British operations into administration. Sky News understands that advisers to the stricken toy retailer have told potential buyers of its European division to lodge offers by the close of business on Monday.
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