10 things you need to know in markets today

Good morning! Here’s what you need to know in markets on Tuesday.

1. Tech giant Apple chose the Channel Islands as a new haven to continue avoiding billions in taxes, the Paradise Papers show. The company picked Jersey as an alternative after a 2013 crackdown on its controversial tax practices in the Republic of Ireland.

2. US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has called for Britain to fall in line with US regulatory and safety standards post-Brexit in order to boost trade between the two nations. On his first visit to London since becoming Commerce Secretary, Ross attacked “regulatory divergence” between the EU and the US.

3. The media corporation 21st Century Fox has been in talks to sell most of itself to Disney, CNBC’s David Faber reported on Monday. An acquisition would leave 21st Century Fox with a smaller, more focused portfolio of news and sports networks to better compete in a changing media space, the report said.

4. Japan’s Nikkei index jumped to a near 26-year-high on Tuesday morning, as foreign investors piled in on expectations of strong earnings from Japan Inc., while Wall Street’s strength underpinned sentiment. The Nikkei closed up 1.80%. Elsewhere in Asia, the Hong Kong Hang Seng is up 1.45% at the time of writing (6.30 a.m. GMT/2.30 a.m. ET), and China’s Shanghai Composite is up 0.54%.

5. Facebook is introducing peer-to-peer payments to its messaging app Messenger in the UK, letting people send cash to their friends and contacts. The feature has existed in the US since 2015, but this is the first time it has been launched anywhere outside of the US or in a currency other than dollars.

6. Startup bank Monzo raised £71 million ($US93 million) in a new financing round, doubling its valuation since its last fundraising round in February. The British company is now valued at £280 million ($US336 million) and said it now has more than 20,000 current account holders.

7. British retail spending fell last month at the fastest pace for any October since 2008 as consumers curbed purchases of non-food goods in the face of rising inflation, a survey showed on Tuesday. Reuters reports that retail sales values slid by an annual 1.0% on a like-for-like basis, which strips out changes in store size, compared to a 1.9% rise in September.

8. European Central Bank President Mario Draghi is giving a speech at 9.00 a.m. GMT (5.00 a.m. ET) in Frankfurt. He is speaking at the ECB forum on banking supervision.

9. I.am+, the tech startup founded by pop star and entrepreneur will.i.am, has raised $US117 million (£88.8 million) in venture funding, the company told Reuters on Monday as it announced its entry into the corporate computing market with a voice assistant for customer service. The company, founded in 2012, initially focused on consumer electronics devices such as headphones. The new artificial intelligence product, similar to Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa, marks a sharp departure for the firm, which now employs about 300 people.

10. The closely-watching Halifax House Price Index will be released at 8.30 a.m. GMT (4.30 a.m. ET). Economists expect month-on-month price growth will have slowed to just 0.2% in October.

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