Good morning. Here’s what you need to know in markets on Tuesday.
1. At least 19 people have died and 59 others were injured in an explosion at Manchester Arena on Monday evening in what police are treating as a terrorist attack. Police have not confirmed the cause of the explosion, which occurred around 10:30 p.m. local time (BST) at an Ariana Grande music concert.
2. Sterling extended losses in response to the suspected attack. The pound eased 0.1% to $US1.299, extending Monday’s 0.3% loss.
3. Japanese stocks were flat overnight as a risk-averse mood kept investors sidelined following the explosion, which lifted the safe-haven yen and depressed some export-oriented shares, Reuters reports. The Nikkei share average fell 0.1% to 19,662.91 in midmorning trade. Airline shares was the worst performer on the board, falling 1.3% on concerns that overseas travel may be hit.
4. Greece’s creditors failed to reach a deal on debt relief for the country during seven hours of talks on Monday night, leaving the euro area locked in a race against time to finish the negotiations before Athens faces crippling repayment deadlines in July, the FT reports. Talks broke up as Germany, Greece and the International Monetary Fund sparred over the next stages of the €86 billion (£74.4 billion) bailout, and notably over how to ease the country’s debts once its rescue programme expires in 2018.
5. Meanwhile the euro held gains made after German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the currency was “too weak,” Reuters reports. The German chancellor was at a Berlin secondary school when she said that huge export earnings were being boosted by the euro’s exchange rate and the oil price.
6. Merkel’s conservatives widened the lead over their Social Democrat rivals, according to a poll published on Tuesday, which showed her party and the pro-business Free Democrats winning enough seats to govern together ahead of the federal elections in September, Reuters reports. A coalition of Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU) and the liberal Free Democrats (FDP) would likely take a more fiscally conservative stance, especially on aid to Greece, than the current CDU-Social Democrat (SPD) government.
7. Donald Trump will on Tuesday call on Congress to push through $US3.6 trillion (£2.77 trillion) of spending reductions including deep cuts to anti-poverty programmes as he promises to balance the federal budget over a 10-year horizon, the FT reports. In his first major budget since taking office, the president proposes a range of cuts in welfare outlays and healthcare support for poorer families, while sheltering the military, social security and Medicare from the axe.
8. Royal Bank of Scotland is racing to avert a high-profile court case by offering £200m in compensation to thousands of investors who claim they were misled into buying the bank’s shares in the run-up to its taxpayer bailout, the Guardian reports. Round-the-clock discussions are under way to reach a deal that would prevent the case being heard in London’s high court and release Fred Goodwin, thecontroversial former RBS boss, from having to give evidence next month.
9. TransferWise is branching out beyond its core business of online international money transfer, launching a new business account and planning a foreign exchange debit card later this year. TransferWise, one of Britain’s few tech unicorns, announced on Tuesday that it is launching a new “borderless account” — an online account that can hold multiple currencies.
10. Bitcoin hit another high on Tuesday. The cryptocurrency topped $US2,000, $US2,100, and $US2,200 for the first time on Sunday night/Monday morning. It was trading up 4.64% at $US2,199.00 at 6.30 a.m. BST (1.30 a.m. ET).
More from Thomas Colson:
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- 10 things you need to know before European markets open
- Theresa May’s plan to cut student immigration adds ‘an additional level of madness’ to her Brexit plans
- A Tory minister admits the party hasn’t calculated the cost of cutting immigration below 100,000
- Merkel: Britain will ‘pay a price’ for pushing ahead with its post-Brexit immigration plans