Good morning! Here’s what you need to know in markets on Wednesday.
1. Prime Minister Theresa May said late Tuesday that the terror threat level in Britain has been increased from “severe” to “critical” after review by the independent organisation the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre. The increased threat level means “not only that an attack remains highly likely, but that a further attack may be imminent.”
2. The FTSE 100 lost a little ground on Tuesday after the terrorist attack in Manchester late on Monday evening. It passed back above the psychologically significant 7,500 point mark during morning trade and stayed there for most of the day, then slipped in the hours ahead of markets closing after the pound strengthened against the dollar, closing at 7,486.
3. Moody’s downgraded China’s long-term local and foreign currency issuer ratings on Wednesday, citing expectations that the financial strength of the world’s second biggest economy would erode in the coming years, Reuters reports. The ratings agency also changed its outlook for China to stable from negative.
4. China’s main stock index fell 1% on the news and the Australian dollar also fell, Reuters reports. Asian shares also slipped, with MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan down 0.2%, despite modest gains on Wall Street overnight. Japan’s Nikkei stock index was, however, up 0.4% helped by exporters after the dollar gained against the yen.
5. Glencore’s agriculture arm has approached its rival Bunge about a possible takeover in the hope of catapulting itself into the top tier of grain merchants, the FT reports. Bunge is one of the world’s oldest grain companies, with annual revenue of $US42.7bn.
6. A US-based credit card company is suing Barclays for £1.6bn in compensation for mis-selling payment protection insurance at a subprime lending business it bought from the British bank a decade ago, the FT reports. The lawsuit, which was filed in the High Court in London, represents one of the biggest claims for PPI mis-selling. Barclays said it had rejected the claim.
7. The leader of France’s largest trade union has warned Emmanuel Macron not to rush labour market reforms as the country’s new president kick-starts negotiations over a bill seen as key to revamping the eurozone’s second-biggest economy, the FT reports. The warning is a reminder of the labour relations minefield awaiting the pro-business president.
8. The European Central Bank’s president Mario Draghi will deliver a speech on financial stability in Madrid, Spain, today at 2.45 p.m. BST (9.45 a.m. ET). All eyes will be on Draghi’s speech for fresh hints on tapering.
9. Business activity is growing at a fast pace across the eurozone in the latest sign that the bloc is rebounding sharply from years of lacklustre performance, the Times reports. At its current pace, the eurozone could deliver GDP growth of 0.7% in the three months to June, according to IHS Markit, far higher than the 0.4% consensus.
10. A London startup that lets you get anything delivered raised £20 million to expand in the UK. Quiqup’s couriers will deliver anything — whether a laptop left at a meeting across town, or a sandwich from a deli.
More from Thomas Colson:
- PICTURES: How the suspected terror attack at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester unfolded
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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