Good morning! Here’s what you need to know in markets on Friday.
1. The Irish government was on the verge of collapse on Thursday after the party whose votes Prime Minister Leo Varadkar depends on to pass legislation said it would seek to remove the deputy prime minister in a breach of their cooperation agreement. Reuters reports that the crisis comes three weeks ahead of a European Union summit in which the Irish government has an effective veto on whether Britain’s talks on leaving the bloc progress as it determines if EU concerns about the future of the Irish border have been met.
2. A research note from UBS says “dark clouds are gathering on the horizon” for the UK economy. Chancellor Philip Hammond presented his first Autumn Budget on Wednesday, which included dismal new growth forecasts from the Office for Budget Responsibility, the government’s public spending watchdog.
3. British households are their least confident since immediately after last year’s Brexit vote, partly because of this month’s interest rate hike and further signs of a slowdown in the housing market, a survey showed on Friday. Reuters reports that a consumer confidence index produced by polling firm YouGov and the Centre for Economics and Business Research, a consultancy, sank to 106.6 in November, down sharply from 109.3 in October.
4. Uber said on Thursday that it discussed a massive data breach with potential investor SoftBank Group Corp ahead of going public with details of the incident on Tuesday. The ride-hailing service is trying to complete a deal in which the Japanese company would invest as much as $US10 billion (£7.5 billion) for at least 14% of Uber, mostly by buying out existing shareholders.
5. US shoppers had splurged more than $US1.52 billion (£1.1 billion) online by Thanksgiving evening, and more bargain hunters turned up at stores this year after two weak holiday seasons as retailers opened their doors early on the eve of Black Friday. At the start of the holiday season, consumer spending rose 16.8% year-over-year until 5 p.m. ET (22.00 GMT) on Thursday, according to Adobe Analytics, which tracked 80% of online transactions at the top 100 US retailers.
6. More than 500 Amazon employees in Europe will go on strike on Black Friday in a bid to win higher pay from the retailer, according to trade unions. Large numbers of employees in Germany and Italy will stay home for one of the busiest shopping days of the year in a bid to win concessions from their employer.
7. Fast-growing fintech app Revolut has passed 1 million customers just over two years after launch. Revolut announced the milestone on Friday, saying that customers have now completed 42 million transactions on its app worth a combined $US6 billion (£4.5 billion).
8. Asian shares hovered below their 10-year peak on Friday while investors viewed Chinese shares with caution after their big fall the previous day. Japan’s Nikkei stock index closed up 0.13%, while the Hong Kong Hang Seng is up 0.55% at the time of writing (6.30 a.m. GMT/1.30 a.m. ET) and China’s Shanghai Composite is up 0.08%.
9. The consumer goods behemoth Unilever has drafted in a top firm of headhunters to help board members identify a successor to Paul Polman, its veteran chief executive. Sky News can reveal that the Anglo-Dutch giant behind Dove shampoo, Lynx deodorant and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream has begun working with Egon Zehnder International, the search consultant, in a move which lays the foundations for Polman’s eventual departure.
10. Ryanair cabin crew have been told they could face “disciplinary proceedings” and have their working hours forcibly changed unless they sell more perfume and scratchcards, the Guardian reports. The Irish airline has previously denied pressuring staff to hit specific sales targets after it emerged they were encouraged to sell products in return for bonuses.
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