Good morning! Here’s what you need to know in markets on Friday.
1. “Am I going to see this through? Yes.” UK Prime Minister Theresa May said Thursday evening about Brexit amid doubts about her tenure as prime minister and after key cabinet members resigned. She is due to speak on LBC radio at 8.00 a.m. in London. The pound is rebounding against the dollar after a rout in the currency yesterday.
2. Meanwhile, France is preparing various measures, notably those dealing with customs controls and checks at ports, in case there is no Brexit deal, said French transport minister Elisabeth Borne.
3. Oil prices gained on Friday, supported by expected supply cuts from OPEC but held back by record U.S. production. Brent crude oil futures were up 1% at $US67.25 a barrel.
4. Italy’s draft budget for 2019 “significantly” deviates from commitments, the vice president of the EU Commission Valdis Dombrovskis said on Friday, threatening a procedure for excessive debt against Rome. Earlier this week Italy re-submitted its draft 2019 budget to the EU Commission with the same growth and deficit assumptions as a draft previously rejected for breaching EU rules, stepping up its showdown with Brussels.
5. The Department of Justice is preparing to bring charges against Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday. Over the past year, prosecutors are said to have discussed a variety of charges they could bring against Assange, who is currently seeking asylum at the Ecuadorean Embassy in London.
6.Speculators are staging a forceful comeback in China’s stock market, bidding up shares in loss-making companies as regulators ease rules around trading, fundraising and backdoor listings to prop up struggling bourses.
7. Volkswagen’s supervisory board is due to vote on a multi-billion euro investment plan on Friday, including steps to retool three German plants to mass produce electric cars and to explore alliances with battery partners and rival carmakers.
8. US President Donald Trump may have shown his cards on the Russia investigation and it could get him into trouble. In a ‘self-defeating and self-incriminating’ tweet, Trump seemed to say that he installed the stand-in US Attorney General to stop the ongoing Russia probe.
9. Despite Facebook’s mesmerising run of scandals, Mark Zuckerberg insists he’s still the right Zuck to run it. And because of Facebook’s stock structure Zuckerberg dominates the company and no-one could force him out anyway.
10. Prince William has taken a pretty good, out-of-character crack at tech giants in general. The Prince says social media juggernauts “seem unable to engage in constructive discussion” about the hurt they cause.