Good morning! Here’s what you need to know in markets on Friday.
1. It’s preliminary PMI day in Europe. Markit will be pushing estimates for economic growth in Germany, France, and the eurozone as a whole in June from 8.00 a.m. BST (3.00 a.m. ET) onwards. Economists are forecasting a slight slowdown in growth across all three markets.
2. Travis Kalanick’s rough week may have just gotten worse. A court document filed Wednesday night states that Kalanick was aware in March 2016 that Uber’s controversial former self-driving car chief Anthony Levandowski was in possession of discs that contained data from Google.
3. Brent is back above $US45 a barrel as oil enjoys a modest rally. Brent is up 0.51% to $US45.45 at the time of writing (6.30 a.m. BST/1.30 a.m ET) and US West Texas Intermediate is up 0.42% to $US42.92.
4. UK government plans for a new £18 billion nuclear power station have come under fire from public auditors, who call it “a risky and expensive project.” The BBC reports that the case for the Hinkley Point C plant in Somerset is “marginal” and the deal is “not value for money”, according to the National Audit Office (NAO).
5. Deutsche Bank unexpectedly pulled an offer to hire a top executive at the last minute, people familiar with the matter said, delaying its efforts to end churn at its fixed-income operation. Rob Allard, a former Deutsche Bank executive who ran the structured product sales team before moving to Goldman Sachs in 2008, was due to join the bank as head of US fixed-income sales.
6. US stocks were little changed on Thursday as surging healthcare companies that got a boost from the much-anticipated GOP Senate healthcare bill were offset by losses in consumer staples and financials. The S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average were almost completely flat, while the Nasdaq eked out a less than 0.1% increase.
7. Asian shares baulked at the starting gate on Friday but remained on track for a weekly gain. Japan’s Nikkei index is up 0.08% at the time of writing (6.25 a.m. BST/1.25 a.m. ET), while the Hong Kong Hang Seng is up 0.10%, and China’s Shanghai Composite is down 0.56%.
8. Allianz is planning to cut 700 jobs in Germany over the next three years, Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported on Friday, citing company sources. The cuts are part of a cost-reduction program involving a total of almost 1,300 job reductions, some of which have already happened through early retirement, the newspaper said.
9. Amazon’s deal to acquire Whole Foods may seem like a dream come true to some, but there’s a realistic chance Walmart could still swoop in to trump Amazon’s $US13.7 billion (£10.8 billion) offer, according to JPMorgan. Whole Foods stock has been trading above Amazon’s offer of $US42 a share, signalling that investors believe a bidding war could emerge and drive up the final price for Whole Foods.
10. Activity levels across Japan’s manufacturing sector grew at the slowest pace in seven months in June. The Nikkei-IHS Markit flash manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) fell to 52.0 from 53.1, leaving it at the lowest level since December last year.