Good morning! Here’s what you need to know in markets on Monday.
Barclays staff told Business Insider they are positive about the future despite Brexit and say CEO Jes Staley has convinced them jobs and the bank’s health will be protected as much as possible. “[Staley] thanked us all for our performance during Brexit,” said one investment banking employee who attended a company-wide town hall meeting last week. “All our systems were up and we were available for all our customers on the day. He also mentioned that the event further justified the advantage of being a transatlantic bank because despite sterling going down, Barclays’ dollar business went suitably up.”
George Osborne is planning to slash corporation tax to less than 15% in an effort to woo business deterred from investing in a post-Brexit Britain as part of his new five-point plan to galvanise the economy. While the chancellor did not backtrack on his warning that leaving the EU could push the country into recession, he told the Financial Times: “We must focus on the horizon and the journey ahead and make the most of the hand we’ve been dealt.”
A group of British companies is set to launch a legal challenge to block the UK government from starting Brexit negotiations without an act of parliament. The Times reports that the legal action, which is being brought by Mishcon de Reya, the law firm, is set to deepen the uncertainty over the Leave vote, with the majority of UK MPs opposed to Brexit.
Bank of America is close to calling off the sale of its £7 billion ($9.3 billion) UK credit card business after the country’s vote to leave the EU curtailed bidders’ appetite for the business. The Financial Times reports that the US bank has told bidders that it is reviewing its planned auction of MBNA, according to three people involved in the sale. MBNA has about 11% of the UK credit card market.
Oil is higher after comment from Saudi Arabia’s energy minister. The energy minister of Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil exporter, and the secretary general of OPEC agree that the global oil market is heading toward a balance and that prices are starting to settle, according to comments carried by Saudi state news agency SPA. Brent is up 0.14% to $50.42 (£37.92) at the time of writing (6.25 a.m. BST/1.25 a.m. ET) and US crude is up 0.06% to $49.02 (£36.89).
Asian markets are jumping. Japan’s Nikkei stock market is up 0.54% at the time of writing (6.25 a.m. BST/1.25 a.m. ET), China’s benchmark Shanghai Composite index is up 1.73%, and the Hong Kong Hang Seng is up 1.28%. US markets are closed on Monday for the July 4 Independence Day celebrations.
UK construction numbers are coming. The construction PMI figure for June is due from Markit at 9.30 a.m. BST (4.30 a.m. ET), with economists expecting the figure to come in at 50.5. That would be a big drop off from May’s figure of 51.2. Anything above 50 signals growth in activity while anything below that mark means the sector has contracted.
Britain is paying the price for a high level of inequality and a chronic lack of investment in education, both of which have prompted a disillusioned population to vote to leave the European Union, Credit Suisse CEO Tidjane Thiam said on Sunday. Thiam, the former head of British insurer Prudential, said he had lived almost 15 years in Britain and had been shocked to be told on a visit to a school in Tower Hamlets, a London borough near the city’s financial district, that about half of children there only ate once a day.
The next move for the pound is completely uncertain, and the currency is currently stuck in “Limbo Land” following the UK’s vote to leave the European Union in June. So says HSBC strategist David Bloom and his team in the bank’s weekly note about Britain’s currency. Essentially, no one at HSBC knows which way the pound will move next.
The “single biggest risk on the European political landscape” is not Britain leaving the European Union, say analysts at Citi. Tina Fordham and her team at Citi told clients in a note entitled “Global Economics View: Who’s Next? EU Political Risks After The Brexit Vote,” that while Britain voting to leave the 28-nation bloc poses a problem for the EU, the high risk of Italy having its own membership referendum actually poses an even greater threat to European stability.