Good morning! Here’s what you need to know in markets on Monday.
1. Brexit Secretary David Davis starts negotiations in Brussels on Monday that will set the terms on which Britain leaves the European Union and determine its relationship with the continent for generations to come. Almost a year to the day since Britons shocked themselves and their neighbours by voting to cut loose from their main trading partner, and nearly three months since Prime Minister Theresa May locked them into a two-year countdown to Brexit in March 2019, almost nothing about the future is clear.
2. French President Emmanuel Macron’s party has won a clear parliamentary majority, results show, weeks after his own presidential victory. The BBC reports that with nearly all votes counted, his La République en Marche, alongside its MoDem allies, won more than 300 seats in the 577-seat National Assembly.
3. J Sainsbury has entered into exclusive discussions to acquire the convenience store operator Nisa for £130 million as the country’s largest supermarket chains continue to target the convenience sector. The Financial Times reports that Nisa appointed Lazard, the investment bank, after receiving interest from potential buyers following Tesco’s £3.7 billion takeover of Booker, the convenience store and wholesale retailer that runs the Londis and Budgens chains.
4. Co-op Bank could announce a deal this week that would lead to the struggling lender’s hedge fund owners and the Co-op Group agreeing a £700 million bailout package, averting a wind down that would leave millions of customers and thousands of pensioners facing uncertainty. The Times reports that representatives of bondholders and the country’s largest mutual were in talks over the weekend about how to resolve the cost of pension entitlements for current and former Co-op Bank staff and appeared to be close to a deal.
5. Barclays could be hit with criminal charges this week over its Gulf-backed emergency fundraising in 2008. Following a five-year investigation, the Sunday Times reports that the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) is expected to reveal its decision on the case on Tuesday morning.
6. Britain’s biggest carmaker Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) will hire 5,000 staff as it boosts its skills in autonomous and electric technology. JLR, which employs more than 40,000 people globally, said it would hire 1,000 electronic and software engineers as well as 4,000 additional personnel including in manufacturing, most of whom will be based in Britain.
7. Google will implement more measures to identify and remove terrorist or violent extremist content on its video-sharing platform YouTube, the company said in a blog post on Sunday. Google said it would take a tougher position on videos containing supremacist or inflammatory religious content by issuing a warning and not monetizing or recommending them for user endorsements, even if they do not clearly violate its policies.
8. Oil prices fell early on Monday, weighed down by high supplies despite an OPEC-led initiative to cut production to tighten the market. Brent is down 0.34% to $US47.21 at the time of writing (6.25 a.m. BST/1.25 a.m. ET) and US West Texas Intermediate is down 0.36% to $US44.81.
9. Japanese stocks rose on Monday, as the dollar’s steady performance against the yen fuelled buying in stock futures. The Nikkei is up 0.57% at the time of writing (6.25 a.m. BST/1.25 a.m. ET). Elsewhere in Asia, the Hong Kong Hang Seng is up 1.01%, and China’s Shanghai Composite is up 0.57%.
10. US weapons maker Lockheed Martin is in the final stages of negotiating a deal worth more than $US37 billion (£28.9 billion) to sell a record 440 F-35 fighter jets to a group of 11 nations including the United States, two people familiar with the talks said. This would be the biggest deal yet for the stealthy F-35 jet as it is set to make its Paris Airshow debut this week.