Good morning! Here are the 10 things you need to know in markets on Monday.
Belgium says it faces a serious and imminent threat of a Paris-style attack and is keeping Brussels on maximum alert on Monday as security forces searched for militants thought to be at large in the capital. Prime Minister Charles Michel, speaking after a meeting of security chiefs called to review the threat status, said the capital’s metro, universities, and schools would be closed on Monday.
David Cameron will on Monday pledge an extra £12 billion ($US18.2 billion) of spending strengthening Britain’s defences against Isis and Russia, but the bill will be met by spending cuts elsewhere, with police, welfare, and business grants in the line of fire. The Financial Times reports that the Prime Minister will set out a five-year defence review with a focus on tackling Isis, including a 30% increase in the counter-terrorism budget, £2 billion ($US3 billion) on special forces, and a new emphasis on cyber defences.
It’s PMI day in Europe. Growth readings for manufacturing, the service sector, and the whole economy are due for France, Germany, and the Eurozone between 8.00 a.m. GMT (3.oo a.m. ET) and 9.00 a.m. (4.00 a.m.).
Britain’s “woefully inadequate” anti-money laundering system has left the country wide open to corrupt money and terrorism funds and needs radical overhaul, a leading anti-corruption group said on Monday. Each year billions of pounds of dirty money flow through Britain, but the system for identifying it is too fragmented and unaccountable to be effective, according to a report by Transparency International UK (TI-UK).
Asian markets are muted.Japan’s Nikkei is up 0.10% at time of writing (6.30 a.m. GMT/1.30 a.m. ET), the Hong Kong Hang Seng is down 0.33%, and the Shanghai Composite is down 0.37%.
Crude oil futures lost ground on Monday in early Asian trading, as the global supply surplus pressured prices, but a cut in the number of U.S. oil rigs for an 11th week in the last 12 limited the falls. Benchmark front-month Brent futures for January fell 16 cents, or 0.36%, to $US44.50 (£29.33) a barrel, after ending up 48 cents at $US44.66 (£29.43) a barrel on Friday.
US hedge fund Third Point has built a large short position in British supermarket Morrisons. The Telegraph reports that the activist hedge fund run by American billionaire Daniel Loeb has a bet against Morrisons worth almost £20 million ($US30.3 million), or more than 0.5% of the company’s market value.
Pfizer was due to secure formal board approval on Sunday for its acquisition of Botox maker Allergan more than $US150 billion (£98.8 billion), creating the world’s biggest drug maker, according to people familiar with the matter. The deal is likely to anger politicians in a US presidential election year because Pfizer would redomicile to Ireland, where Allergan is registered, in a so-called “inversion” that would slash its corporate tax rate.
A tiny Swiss bank specialised in financing social and environmental projects will on January 1 go where no retail lender has gone before, applying negative interest rates on individual clients. The Alternative Bank Schweiz (ABS) caused shockwaves with a letter sent to all clients in mid-October informing them that it would begin imposing interest charges on deposits in 2016.
Shares in Guotai Junan International dived Monday after the major Chinese brokerage said it could not find its Hong Kong chief, at a time when Beijing is targeting the financial sector in an anti-graft campaign. Shares in the Hong Kong-listed firm, a subsidiary of Guotai Junan Securities, dropped more than 15% at one point after the company said it had not been able to locate its chairman Yim Fung since Wednesday.
NOW WATCH: Money & Markets videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.