10 things you need to know in markets today

The Gordon Elliott string on the gallops at Cheltenham racecourse on March 14, 2016 in Cheltenham, England. (Photo by )Alan Crowhurst/Getty ImagesThe Gordon Elliott string on the gallops at Cheltenham racecourse on March 14, 2016 in Cheltenham, England.

Good morning! Here’s what you need to know in markets on Tuesday.

Volkswagen AG is being sued for €3.3 billion (£2.6 billion, $3.7 billion) over the cover-up of its polluting diesel engines, its biggest legal challenge in Germany after a wave of lawsuits in the US centered on the scandal. Bloomberg reports that the action was filed Monday at the Braunschweig Regional Court on behalf of 278 institutional investors from around the world, lawyer Andreas Tilp said by telephone. The suit claims VW failed to publish information about the emissions scandal in a timely manner, he said.

Chinese company Anbang agreed on Monday to drop $6.5 billion (£4.5 billion) to buy a portfolio of luxury hotels from Blackstone Group and led a bid to bust up Marriott’s merger with Starwood Hotels. While Anbang is making a splash in the hotel industry, it’s not a hospitality company. It’s actually an insurance company (its full name is Anbang Insurance Group), with subsidiaries in financial leasing, banking, and asset management, in addition to its insurance wings.

Asian markets are dipping after the Bank of Japan offered no new stimulus. Japan’s Nikkei closed down 0.68%, while China’s benchmark Shanghai Composite is down 0.21% at the time of writing (6.25 a.m. GMT/2.25 a.m. ET) and the Hong Kong Hang Seng is down 0.54%.

Apple, Google, McDonald’s, and IKEA will be asked about their European tax deals on Wednesday as EU lawmakers ratchet up the pressure on multinationals to pay more tax on their profits locally. The hearing, organised by the European Parliament’s tax committee, follows a similar event in November last year when Anheuser-Busch InBev, HSBC, Google, and eight other companies were quizzed on the same subject.

Cosmetics maker Avon Products said on Monday it would cut about 2,500 jobs worldwide and shift its corporate headquarters to the UK as part of its three-year turnaround plan. Avon shares were up nearly 4% at $4.55 (£3.19) in extended trading. The company sold most of its North American business to Cerberus Capital, its biggest investor, after four years of falling sales.

European jobs data is due later. Quarterly and yearly change in employment figures across the European Union will be released at 10.00 a.m. GMT (6.00 a.m. ET). Economists are forecasting a 0.2% quarterly change.

A slew of US economic data is due from 12.00 p.m. GMT (8.00 a.m. ET) onwards. Latest figures are due for the New York Empire State Manufacturing Index, Producer Price Index, Redbook Index, and business inventories.

The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) could be about to implement rules designed to curb speculative trading in currency markets. The PBOC has drafted rules for a Tobin tax on currency trading, according to sources close to the issue who spoke to Bloomberg.

Bond manager Bill Gross will be able to pursue his lawsuit to recoup at least $200 million (£140 million) he claims that Pacific Investment Management Co (Pimco) owes him in the wake of his 2014 ousting from the firm he co-founded. California Superior Court Judge Martha Gooding ruled late Sunday that Gross’ breach-of-contract lawsuit was strong enough to proceed.

Japanese industrial conglomerate Toshiba said it is in late-stage talks to sell its white goods business to Chinese household appliance giant Midea Group, Nikkei reported on Monday. The deal is expected to fetch tens of billions of yen, the Japanese business daily reported.

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