Good morning! Here’s what you need to know in markets on Monday.
1. A huge new leak of financial documents has revealed how the powerful and ultra-wealthy, including the Queen’s private estate, secretly invest vast amounts of cash in offshore tax havens. The leak, dubbed the Paradise Papers, contains 13.4 million documents, mostly from one leading firm in offshore finance. BBC Panorama is part of nearly 100 media groups investigating the papers.
2. Newly-leaked documents show that the Kremlin invested hundreds of millions of dollars into Twitter and Facebook through a business associate of President Donald Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law, Jared Kushner. According to the Paradise Papers, two Russian state-owned entities with close ties to Vladimir Putin invested money into Facebook and Twitter through the Russian-American tech investor Yuri Milner.
3. Newly-leaked documents show that Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, President Donald Trump’s point man on trade and manufacturing policy, has a stake in a company that does business with a gas producer partly owned by the son-in-law of Russian President Vladimir Putin. According to records obtained by the International Consortium of Journalists, Ross is an investor in Navigator Holdings, a shipping giant that counts Russian gas and petrochemical producer Sibur among its major customers.
4. Saudi Arabia’s King Salman on Saturday removed a prominent prince who headed the National Guard, replaced the economy minister, and announced the creation of a new anti-corruption committee. Also arrested was the billionaire Prince al-Waleed bin Talal, a prominent investor in US companies including Twitter and Citigroup, the New York Times reported.
5. Asian shares hovered near decade highs on Monday as strong US economic data and corporate earnings supported global stocks while major currencies held in tight ranges as investors focused on US President Donald Trump’s tour of Asia this week. Japan’s Nikkei closed up 0.11%, the Shanghai Composite is up 0.26% at the time of writing (6.30 a.m. GMT/2.30 a.m. ET), and the Hong Kong Hang Seng is down 0.35% at the same time.
6. British new car sales in October fell by about 12% year on year, marking a seventh consecutive month of decline, preliminary data released by an industry body showed on Monday. Sales were hurt by a decline in business and consumer confidence, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said.
7. It’s European PMI day. Between 8.15 a.m. GMT (4.15 a.m. ET) and 9.00 a.m. GMT (5.00 a.m. ET), Markit will publish economic growth estimates for Spain, Italy, France, Germany, and the eurozone as a whole in October. The growth stats will break out the performance of the service sector in each country, as well as a composite growth figure.
8. Up to 60% of firms will trigger Brexit contingency plans within months if the government fails to secure a transition deal, according to a new Confederation of British Industry (CBI) survey. The survey found that 60% of firms will have triggered contingency plans, which would involve moving staff abroad or slowing recruitment, if there are no transitional arrangements in place by March 2018.
9. The CBI is holding its annual conference in London on Monday. Speakers include UK Prime Minister Theresa May, leader of the opposition Jeremy Corbyn, US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, BT CEO Gavin Patterson, Aviva CEO Mark Wilson, Sainsbury’s CEO Mike Coupe, and more.
10. Qatar Airways will buy a near 10% stake in Cathay Pacific for HK$5.6 billion ($US662 million; £506 million), giving the Middle Eastern airline more access to China’s lucrative aviation market. The BBC reports that the deal is the first known investment by a Middle Eastern airline into an East Asian carrier.