Good morning! Here’s what you need to know in markets on Friday.
Investors are pouring funds into safe-haven assets amid festering concerns about a UK referendum that could push Britain out of the European Union. Global bond yields have dropped to new lows and perceived safe-haven currencies gained as investors sought shelter. German bunds are within touching distance of negative yield. “There are concerns over ‘Brexit’ as polls seem to suggest the probability of Britain leaving Europe is rising,” said Tatsushi Maeno, managing director at PineBridge Investments.
Goldman Sachs is getting nervous about stocks. In a note to clients, equity strategist Christian Mueller-Glissmann outlined the firm’s fears that there may be a significant risk to the downside for the market. “There are generally more negative than positive 3-standard deviation moves for equities, indicating a negative ‘skew’ for equity returns,” said Mueller-Glissmann.
Japan’s Nikkei is down. The closely-watched Asian stock market is down 0.69% at the time of writing (6.30 a.m. BST/1.30 a.m ET). Chinese markets are closed for a public holiday. Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Market, is calling the FTSE 100 to open 7 points lower at 6,225 in his morning email.
One of HSBC’s most tech-savvy executives believes competition for tech talent will shape the future of banking. Raman Bhatia, head of digital in the UK at HSBC, told Business Insider in an interview: “In the years to come, the war for talent will define, in many ways, which banks and multi-channel retailers are able to compete in the 21st century.”
Sir Philip Green’s inner circle are to be hauled before MPs to explore explosive revelations surrounding the collapse of BHS. The Telegraph reports that restaurateur Richard Caring, who at one stage owned 22.1% of BHS, is being called in front of the joint Business and Work and Pensions Select Committee alongside Sir Philip’s son-in-law Brett Palos and long-term adviser Neville Khan, a Deloitte partner. Michael Sherwood, vice chairman of investment bank Goldman Sachs, has also been called, alongside two of his bankers: Michael Casey and Anthony Gutman, who has already testified once.
Boots has parted company with the boss of its UK operation weeks after a Guardian investigation revealed concerns about its business practices. The Guardian reports that the pharmacy chain’s US parent company, Walgreens Boots Alliance, said Simon Roberts would be leaving in July “to pursue new opportunities”. He has been with the company for 13 years, the last three as president of Boots. A recent investigation by the Guardian revealed managers were directing their pharmacists to provide medicine-use reviews (MUR) to customers who did not need them, in order to claim public money from the NHS.
Three of the world’s 10 largest employers are already replacing tens of thousands of their workers with robots. Apple supplier Foxconn, US grocery chain Walmart, and the US Department of Defence are all increasingly relying on robots and artificial intelligence in their workforces. Everyone from banks to university professors are worrying about what happens if robots destroy jobs faster than they create them.
The collapse of oil prices from mid-2014 onwards means as many as 120,000 oil workers will have lost their jobs in Britain by the end of the year, the industry’s lobby group said on Friday. Reuters reports that employment in Britain’s oil industry and indirectly related jobs, like supply chain and services, are estimated to fall to 330,000 by the end of the year, down from 450,000 in 2014, Oil and Gas UK said in a report.
Advertising agencies are for the first time turning to Instagram more frequently than Twitter for social media ad campaigns, a survey released Thursday showed. The survey, from a unit of Comcast called Strata, came the same week Twitter said its head of product, who took over the team in September, was leaving. The research firm eMarketer said earlier this month that Snapchat was on pace to surpass Twitter in US active users, highlighting the threat Twitter faces from faster-growing competitors.
If you want to know what’s on the minds of business leaders and entrepreneurs through the dog days of summer, consider JPMorgan’s book suggestions. The banking giant released its 2016 summer reading list on Thursday, choosing the 10 most compelling titles from 450 submissions.
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