Good morning! Here’s what you need to know in markets on Friday.
1. Amazon on Thursday announced it had signed an agreement to acquire PillPack, an online pharmacy.PillPack’s business is built around customers who take multiple daily prescriptions. It offers medications in presorted dose packaging, coordinates refills, and handles shipments.
2. When Amazon announced plans to buy PillPack, the reckoning across the entire industry’s supply chain was swift and brutal.Drug wholesalers like CardinalHealth,AmerisourceBergen and Express Scripts experienced deep losses. Meanwhile, Walmart – another mega-cap retail with designs on entering healthcare– also saw shares fall.
3. Goldman Sachs thinks the British pound could be set for a major appreciation in the coming months. A team from the bank’s investment management division wrote this week that there is scope for the pound to rise by as much as 10% going forward, and for the currency to climb back above the 1.40 mark against the dollar, a level it most recently hit back in April.
4. Bitcoin has collapsed through the $US6,000 for the second time this week. The world’s biggest cryptocurrency dipped overnight, before selling momentum increased during early trade in Asia. By 7.50 a.m. BST (2.50 a.m. ET), the cryptocurrency has recovered, but remains below $US6,000.
5. European Union leaders agreed on Friday to extend their economic sanctions against Russia for annexing Crimea from Kiev and backing rebels fighting government troops in east Ukraine, an EU official said.The decision, which will be formally confirmed in the coming days, will prolong EU’s curbs on doing business with Russian banking, financial and energy sectors for six months until the end of January.
6. Nike on Thursday reported fiscal-fourth-quarter earnings that beat analysts’ forecasts, as it ended a three-quarter streak of revenue losses in North America.The apparel giant posted $US0.69 in adjusted earnings per share, and revenue growth of 13% to $US9.8 billion.
7. Just months after raising $US100 million, electric scooter startup Bird announced on Thursday it closed another round of funding, raising $US300 million in a round led by Sequoia Capital.The current round values the company at $US2 billion, according to a source close to the matter.
8. Novartis unveiled its plan to spin off all of its Alcon eye care devices business and launch a share buyback of up to $US5 billion as the company sharpens its focus on prescription drugs, the Swiss drugmaker said on Friday. Novartis will hold a shareholder meeting next February to get approval for the spin off.
9. Chinese telecoms giant ZTE Corp is expected to announce a radical management overhaul following a shareholder meeting on Friday. This is in line with conditions laid out in a $US1.4 billion settlement deal to lift a crippling U.S. supplier ban.
10. Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi priced its Hong Kong initial public offering (IPO) at the bottom of an indicative range, IFR reported on Friday, citing sources close to the transaction.Xiaomi priced its share offering at HK$17 per share ($US2.17), the bottom of a price range of HK$17 to HK$22, according to IFR.
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