Good morning! Here’s what you need to know in markets on Monday.
Asian shares are bouncing after China said it had no immediate plans to sell shares it bought last year to help shore up the market. The Shanghai Composite is up 1.82% at the time of writing (6.45 a.m. GMT/1.45 a.m. ET), Hong Kong’s Hang Seng is up 1.05%, and Japan’s Nikkei closed up 1.74%.
China is crushing hedge funds that bet against it. The People’s Bank of China has been buying up yuan to artificially inflate the price, leaving many bets made by hedge funds worthless.
Chancellor George Osborne is poised to announce further cuts of about £4 billion to government spending by the end of the decade in a budget that reflects growing uncertainty over the economic recovery. The Times reports that Osborne laid the groundwork for his Wednesday statement, warning that Britain must “act now rather than pay later”. He revealed that he needs to find additional savings equivalent to 50p of every £100 of government spending by 2020.
Royal Bank of Scotland plans to cut about 550 jobs as it scales back face-to-face advice on investments and insurance, according to reports. The Financial Times reports that the bank is cutting face-to-face jobs as more people turn to so-called “robo-advisors” — online investment advice.
German exchange operator Deutsche Boerse could increase its offer to buy London Stock Exchange this week, potentially hiking its bid for the British institution as soon as today. The Telegraph reports that rising price of shares in the LSE Group combined with interest from rival US exchange group Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) is set to push Deutsche Boerse to dig deeper in its efforts to acquire the LSE, which the market currently values at just over £10 billion.
A former employee of Volkswagen’s US subsidiary is suing the company for damages, claiming he was unlawfully fired after flagging internally what he alleged was illegal deletion of data. The former employee at Volkswagen Group of America’s data processing center in Michigan is seeking unspecified damages for losing his job after he tried from September 18 last year to stop a co-worker from deleting data, German broadcasters WDR and NDR as well as newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported.
Thousands of miners in China’s coal-rich north have gone on strike over months of unpaid wages and fears that government calls to restructure their state-owned employer will lead to mass layoffs. Video seen by AFP on Monday showed protesters marching through the streets of Shuangyashan city in Heilongjiang province, venting their frustration at Longmay Mining Holding Group, the biggest coal firm in northeast China.
Startups around the world are having to adjust their business models after a drying up of venture capital funding over the last six months. “We have to be focused on the fact that the economic environment is changing for all startups,” Katia Beauchamp, CEO and founder of subscription beauty service Birchbox, told Business Insider. Birchbox laid off 15% of staff at the start of the year.
Alibaba, China’s biggest e-commerce company, has completed a funding round for its logistics arm Cainiao, the company said on Monday. Investors include Singapore’s Temasek and GIC, Malaysia’s Khazanah Nasional and China’s Primavera Capital, Alibaba said.
The government will be putting retail jobs at risk if it does not undertake a fundamental review of business rates, according to Tesco CEO Dave Lewis. The Guardian reports that Lewis said business rates were “completely disproportionate” and the fact they are linked solely to property puts traditional retailers operating from physical stores at a disadvantage.