Good morning! Here’s what you need to know in markets on Monday.
A famous hedge fund manager says that we’ll enter a “Mad Max” world if China listens to the world’s hedge funds. Global macro hedge fund manager Hugh Hendry, who was once a famous China bear, says the world would be “over” if China devalued its currency by 20%.
China’s stock market may be about to receive another debt-fuelled boost. Chinese stocks have been rallying hard in recent weeks, boosted by suspected state-backed buying from the so-called “National Team” during the National People’s Conference and bargain hunting in the wake of a 50% plunge in the benchmark Shanghai Composite index in the eight months to late February this year.
In the summer of 2015, the Chinese government asked the US Federal Reserve for advice on tackling a market crash. Reuters reports that, confronted with a plunge in its stock markets last year, China’s central bank swiftly reached out to the U.S. Federal Reserve, asking it to share its play book for dealing with Wall Street’s “Black Monday” crash of 1987.
Asian stocks were something of a mixed bag on Monday.Chinese stocks jumped, with the Dow Jones Shanghai, the CSI 300, and China A50 all up around 1.7%. However, Japan’s Nikkei 225 saw a 1.25% fall, and the KOSPI in South Korea lost 0.12%.
British supermarket Sainsbury’s looks to have finally secured a deal to buy Home Retail Group, the owner of Argos. Sainsbury’s announced details of a new bid for HRG one minute after the markets closed for the weekend on Friday, which valued HRG at around £1.2 billion. In a statement, Sainsbury’s said that Home Retail Group has said “it would be willing to recommend Sainsbury’s offer, if made”.
Leaving the European Union could cause a “serious shock” to Britain’s economy.There is a risk of the UK losing almost one million jobs, according to a CBI business group study.
The chief executive of one of France’s largest insurance companies is stepping down. Henri de Castries will leave his job as Axa’s chief executive in September after more than 15 years in the job. De Castries will be replaced as CEO by Thomas Buberl, who currently heads up Axa’s German operation.
Banks are being encouraged to make rules on the so-called “clawing back” of bonuses stricter. The Financial Times reports that investors at JP Morgan, Citigroup, and Bank of America Merrill Lynch are all campaigning to toughen the rules about taking back bonuses from senior bankers if they are later found to have engaged in wrongdoing, or to have taken excessive risks.
Malaysia’s prime minister Najib Razak has insisted he is not a “crook” after recent questions about his involvement with the country’s controversial 1MDB investment fund. “I haven’t changed my principles as a prime minister. I’ll never steal public property. Don’t think I’m a crook. Don’t believe that I’ve stolen public property. I’m the people’s prime minister” Razak said on Sunday, according to the Financial Times.
Japan is starting to get worried about Donald Trump’s attitude to the country. U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump’s portrayal of Japan as a free-rider on security is stirring worries in Tokyo about damage to its U.S. alliance, and could embolden hardliners keen to bolster Japan’s military in the face of a rising China.