Good morning! Here’s what you need to know in markets on Thursday.
1. Lloyd’s of London will announce on Thursday that it has picked Brussels as the base for its new EU subsidiary to secure a European foothold after the UK’s departure from the EU. The Guardian reports that the world’s biggest insurance market is expected to shift up to 100 jobs initially to Brussels from London, where it employs about 600 people.
2. US Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said the Trump administration would unveil a $US1 trillion (£800 billion) infrastructure plan later this year, but she did not offer details of funding for projects. Chao said at an event at the department’s headquarters that the infrastructure initiative “will cover more than transportation infrastructure, it will include energy, water and potentially broadband and veterans hospitals as well.”
3. US stocks closed little changed on Wednesday. The Dow Jones closed down 0.20%, the S&P 500 up 0.11%, and Nasdaq up 0.38%.
4. Asian shares are dipping but still close to two-year highs. Japan’s Nikkei is down 0.91% at the time of writing (6.20 a.m. BST/1.20 a.m. ET), the Hong Kong Hang Seng is down 0.56%, and the Shanghai Composite is down 1.13%.
5. US GDP and jobless numbers are due. The latest US economic data will drop at 11.30 a.m. BST (6.30 a.m. ET). Economists are expecting fourth quarter GDP growth of 2% and a slight drop in the number of initial jobless claims to 248,000.
6. Heathrow’s overseas backers are pledging £650 million in investments for major projects. The Telegraph reports that a consortium of investors will spend the cash in 2019 on projects likely to include the expansion of Terminal 2 and a new southern access tunnel for road traffic to the airport.
7. Barclays picked Amazon as one of their favourites in the internet and media sector and made the case for the stock’s market cap to reach one trillion dollars. Analysts wrote: “AMZN is arguably the best story in the space, with the most open-ended growth opportunity & most highly functional organisation.”
8. The dominant shareholder in Johnston Press has opened talks with the struggling newspaper publisher’s lenders about a debt-for-equity swap in a bid to stave off a potential financial crunch. The Telegraph reports that listed activist fund Crystal Amber, the owner of more than 21% of Johnston Press, has begun discussions with major holders of £220 million in bonds that are due to mature in two years.
9. The attorney general of Massachusetts announced a $US22 million (£17.6 million) settlement with Santander Bank on Wednesday over the bank’s subprime auto loan securitization. A statement from the office of Attorney General Maura Healey, a Democrat, called Santander “the largest packager of subprime auto loan securities in the US” and said the bank had facilitated “unfair, high-rate auto loans for thousands of Massachusetts car buyers.”
10. Lululemon shares fell by as much as 16% in after-hours trading in the US on Wednesday after the yoga wear company reported earnings and said it had a “slow start” to the year. Lululemon’s CEO Laurent Potdevin told analysts on the earnings call that the slowness was mostly online.
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