Good morning! Here’s what you need to know in markets on Thursday.
1. The European Central Bank has ruled out the possibility that Brexit could pose a major threat to the euro area economy, rejecting warnings from the Bank of England that a messy UK withdrawal could leave EU companies without vital services, the FT reports. The ECB’s vice-president Vítor Constâncio said on Thursday that Brexit could “really not harm significantly the ongoing recovery in the euro area.”
2. British security officials investigating the Manchester terror attack are considering withholding sensitive information from Washington after a series of damaging leaks they fear are endangering British lives, the FT reports. Such a move would break with years of ever-closer counter terrorism work between the US and the UK that has followed the September 11 attacks.
3. OPEC ministers are gathering in Vienna on Thursday to address the ongoing oil glut and figure out their next move. Most analysts expect the cartel to extend production cuts for another six to nine months following recent statements from major oil players.
4. Oil prices rose ahead the meeting. Brent crude futures were trading at $US51.74 per barrel at 6.15 a.m. BST (1.15 a.m. ET) up 0.74% from their last close.
5. Anglo-Swiss chemicals firm Ineos has bought the oil and gas business of Dong Energy for £1 billion, a major milestone in the Danish company’s switch from hydrocarbons to renewable energy, the Guardian reports. The acquisition takes it from 28th biggest oil and gas producer in the region to the top 10.
6. Aston Martin has moved to head off speculation it is revving up for a listing as the legendary sports car company reported a strong acceleration in sales, the Telegraph reports. The Warwickshire-based business said revenues from sales of its high-performance cars doubled in the first quarter, as a turnaround programme takes hold.
7. One of the co-founders of Fevertree Drinks is to sell a £40 million tranche of shares in the expensive tonic maker, the Times reports. Charles Rolls, who relinquished his executive role in the business, is taking advantage of a remarkable increase in the share price since Fevertree floated at £1.34 in November 2014 after consistently beating market forecasts. Shares are currently worth nearly £17.50.
8 Japanese stocks edged up on Thursday as investors bought futures after the yen weakened in Asian trade, while a surge in index-heavyweights such as SoftBank supported sentiment, Reuters reports. Information technology conglomerate SoftBank jumped as much as 4.5% after Bloomberg reported that the company had built a $US4 billion (£3.08 billion) stake in Nvidia. In midmorning trade, the Nikkei share average edged up 0.5% to 19,849.10, after opening a tad lower.
9. A £200 million settlement between Royal Bank of Scotland and thousands of aggrieved shareholders has been hit by further delays after it emerged that lawyers were having difficulty tracking down some investors to ask them to agree to the deal, the Telegraph reports. A High Court trial into RBS’s £12 billion rights issue at the height of the financial crisis has now been adjourned until June 7.
10. A US academic who claimed to be Donald Trump’s likely ambassador to the EU has never been under consideration for the position, according to the US government, the FT reports. Ted Malloch caused alarm among European politicians by celebrating Brexit and predicting the “collapse” of the euro and the EU.
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