Good morning! Here’s what you need to know in markets on Friday.
1. Chinese telecom equipment and smartphone maker Huawei Technologies said on Friday that net profit edged up just 0.4% last year, its slowest annual growth since 2011. Huawei, the world’s No. 3 smartphone maker behind Apple and Samsung, said net profit rose to 37.1 billion yuan (£4.2 billion, $US5.3 billion).
2. Fourth quarter GDP figures are coming. Economic growth data for the UK is due at 9.30 a.m. BST (4.30 a.m. ET). Year-on-year growth is forecast to be 2%, unchanged on the previous quarter, and quarterly growth is also expected to be unchanged at 0.7%.
3. The US judge overseeing a blockbuster case over self-driving car technology suggested Uber could face an injunction if a key Uber executive does not testify for fear of exposing himself to criminal prosecution, according to a transcript seen by Reuters. Waymo, the self-driving car unit of Alphabet, sued Uber last month, alleging that a former Waymo executive, Anthony Levandowski, downloaded over 14,000 confidential documents before leaving the company to subsequently join Uber, which benefited from the stolen secrets.
4. US private equity firm Silver Lake Partners and US chipmaker Broadcom have offered Toshiba about 2 trillion yen (£14.3 billion, $US17.9 billion) for its chip unit, the Nikkei business daily reported on Friday. About 10 potential bidders are interested in buying a stake in the NAN flash memory maker, a source with knowledge of the planned sale told Reuters earlier.
5. Volkswagen said Thursday it has agreed to settle environmental claims from 10 US states over its excess diesel emissions for $US157.45 million (£126.1 million), as the world’s largest automaker looks to move past the scandal. The German automaker’s settlement covers states including New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Washington and also covers some consumer claims.
6. US stocks closed higher on Thursday after the Commerce Department revised fourth-quarter economic growth up on the back of stronger consumer spending. The Dow closed up 0.34%, the S&P 500 was up 0.31%, and the Nasdaq was up 0.27%.
7. Asian stocks are lower despite China’s manufacturing PMI beating forecasts. Japan’s Nikkei is down 0.41% at the time of writing (6.35 a.m. BST/1.35 a.m. ET), the Hong Kong Hang Seng is down 0.72%, but the Shanghai Composite in China is up 0.20%.
8. Uber has reached a settlement with Pennsylvania’s taxi regulator to end the ride-sharing company’s appeal of a record $US11.4 million (£9.1 million) fine for operating illegally. A notice posted on Tuesday with the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania said Uber and the state’s Public Utility Commission had reported an agreement in principle to settle the case, which involved the largest fine imposed by that regulator.
9. Saudi Arabian Oil Co. (Aramco) has appointed JPMorgan Chase & Co., Morgan Stanley, and HSBC for key roles on its initial public offering, according to people familiar with the matter, as it moves ahead with its plans for what could be the world’s biggest share sale. Bloomberg reports that the global banks will act as advisers on the listing, the people said, asking not to be named because the discussions are private.
10. Google’s venture capital arm has taken part in a £4 million investment round in a startup spun out of Oxford University that is trying to use “biotech superglue” to create new vaccines. GV, formerly Google Ventures, is backing SpyBiotech, which is trying to commercialise a biological discovery that it believes can be used to create highly effective vaccines.
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