Good morning! Here’s what you need to know in markets on Monday.
1. A final decision on the Northern Irish border cannot be made until a UK-EU trade deal has been agreed, Liam Fox has said, despite warnings from Brussels that trade talks cannot proceed unless an agreement is reached within days.The Guardian reports that Ireland is seen as the key obstacle to proceeding to negotiations about a future trade relationship with the EU at a December summit, with the Irish government dissatisfied with the options offered so far to prevent a hard border with Northern Ireland.
2. Aviva is poised to spend more than £1 billion buying back its shares after building up huge capital reserves, the Times reports. Mark Wilson, chief executive of the FTSE 100 insurer, is expected to reveal the plans at an investor day this week.
3. A blockbuster cinema deal could see Vue International combine with Odeon to create a £3bn multiplex monolith, the Times reports. Vue, run by former Hollywood executive Tim Richards, is eyeing a possible takeover of its archrival after problems in its American parent company, AMC Entertainment.
4. The government is to highlight five key areas where the UK needs to improve its performance when it reveals on Monday the details of a new industrial strategy designed to increase productivity, the Guardian reports.Greg Clark, the business secretary, will announce the creation of an independent watchdog to monitor progress made in boosting innovation, upgrading infrastructure, increasing the level of workplace skills, ensuring that the strength of the City is reflected in funds for companies and spreading prosperity to all parts of the country.
5. The FTSE-100 mining group Rio Tinto has abandoned plans to appoint the Conservative Party’s boss as the company’s next chairman in the wake of a full-scale investor revolt.Sky News reports that Sir Mick Davis is “no longer in the running” to replace Jan du Plessis less than a fortnight after it emerged that he was the frontrunner for the post.
6. Northern supermarket chain Booths, known as the “Waitrose of the North”, is hunting for a buyer after 170 years in the same family, the Telegraph reports. The retailer has brought in advisers from NM Rothschild to explore a sale. Analysts estimate the chain could fetch up to £150m.
5. Japan’s Nikkei share average fell on Monday in choppy trade after a slightly stronger yen sapped investors’ risk appetite, sending stocks such as chip-related firms lower.The Nikkei dropped 0.2%to 22,495.99, after opening 0.5 per cent higher.
8. London nickel led metals lower on Monday, as investors cut their exposure to risky assets as Beijing steps up a crackdown on shadow banking and other riskier forms of financing, Reuters reports. London Metal Exchange nickel slid 2.5% to $US11,730 a tonne, wiping out Friday’s near 1% gains. Shanghai nickel fell 1%, with the most volatile metal also battered by expectations of rising supply.
9. A former owner of Little Chef is among a pack of bidders plotting a cut-price takeover of Byron, the gourmet burger chain caught in the headwinds afflicting Britain’s casual dining sector.Sky News reports that R Capital, which specialises in buying troubled businesses, is one of several suitors to have held talks with Byron’s owners and management in recent weeks.
10. And finally… The amount of energy used by computers “mining” bitcoin so far this year is greater than the annual usage of almost 160 countries, according to new research. Research by energy tariff comparison service PowerCompare.co.uk shows that the amount of energy expended mining bitcoin globally has already exceeded the amount used on average by Ireland and most African nations.
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