Good morning! Here’s what you need to know in markets on Thursday.
1.Silicon Valley is abuzz about “Meltdown” and “Spectre” – new ways for hackers to attack Intel, AMD, and ARM processors that were first discovered by Google last year, and publicly disclosed Wednesday. Between them, the vulnerabilities threaten almost all PCs, laptops, tablets, and smartphones, regardless of manufacturer or operating system.
2.Spotify, the music streaming company, has filed paperwork to list its shares on the New York Stock Exchange, in an indication that it is pressing on with a unique plan to go public. The Financial Times reports that the popular music service could be the first large, well-known market debut of 2018, after a rebound in initial public offering activity last year.
3.US stocks finished up on Wednesday, as Fed chair Janet Yellen warned that the recently passed Republican tax reform package could cause the central bank to raise interest rates more quickly than previously signalled. The Dow closed up 0.37% at 24,916, the S&P 500 ended up 0.61% at 2,712172, and the Nasdaq closed 0.84% higher at 7,065.5.
4.Asian shares scaled a 10-year high on Thursday as solid economic data from the United States and Germany reinforced investors’ optimism while oil prices hovered at a two-and-a-half year high with unrest in Iran stoking supply disruption concerns. Japan’s Nikkei closed up 2.95% in its first trading session of 2018, while the Hong Kong Hang Seng shares index is up 0.53% at the time of writing (6.35 a.m. GMT/1.35 a.m. ET) and China’s Shanghai Composite is up 0.30%.
5. Data on Europe’s service sector is coming.IHS Markit will release services PMI data for December starting at 8.15 a.m. GMT (3.15 a.m. ET). The data will cover Spain, Italy, France, Germany, the UK, and the Eurozone as a whole. We’ll also get estimates of overall economic growth for Germany, France, and the Eurozone in December.
6. Consumer credit and mortgage figures are coming from the Bank of England. The central bank, which has expressed concern about the level of borrowing in the UK, will publish the latest stats at 9.30 a.m. GMT (4.30 a.m. ET). Consumer credit for November is forecast to rise slightly to £1.5 billion.
7.Poundland has secured up to £180 million of independent financing that will reduce its reliance on its troubled South African owner Steinhoff International after bumper Christmas trading. The Guardian reports that Pepkor Europe – the European owner of Poundland, the Pep&Co clothing business, and two other chains – has arranged a two-year loan facility from US investment firm Davidson Kempner Capital Management.
8.Tesla is cutting in half its Model 3 production target for the first quarter of 2018. Tesla says it will build 2,500 Model 3 vehicles per week by the end of Q1 2018, and hit 5,000 per week by the end of Q2.
9. XRP, the cryptocurrency made by Ripple, continued its explosive tear Wednesday afternoon, surging above $US3 for the first time. The digital currency is trading up 12.9% against the dollar at $US3.07 at the time of writing (6.23 a.m. GMT/1.23 a.m. ET).
10.Barclays analysts believe that millions of Apple customers could opt for a battery replacement over a new iPhone, proving costly for Apple. Apple started offering $US29 in-store battery replacements last week in an apologetic move after the company revealed that an older battery could actually make an iPhone run slower.
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