10 things you need to know in markets today

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

1. Asian stocks have entered a bear market. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index has fallen about 20% from the year-to-date high set on January 29.The intra-day losses have been larger in key Asian markets, with South Korea’s KOSPI index down by around 2.1%. Japan’s TOPIX has been hardest hit, down by around 3.7% with falls on the export-heavy index exacerbated by strength in the yen, as capital flowed into haven assets. Australia’s ASX 200 Index is down more than 10% from its 2018 highs, entering a correction.

2. Two more suspicious packages, similar to those intercepted before reaching US President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, were found addressed to California Congresswoman Maxine Waters, the FBI said on Wednesday.CNN evacuated its New York bureau when another explosive was found in their building’s mail room. The two parcels intended for Waters take to eight the total number of suspected package bombs under investigation.

3. Frustrated current and former US officials warned that President Donald Trump’s personal Apple iPhones is being monitored by Chinese spies, according to a New York Times report published Wednesday. Trump reportedly has two iPhones that were programmed by the National Security Agency for official use, but he keeps a third, personal phone that remains unaltered – much like the normal iPhones on the consumer market, according to the officials.

4. Activist investor William Ackman’s Pershing Square Capital Management has acquired a 3.7 per cent stake in hotel operator Hilton Worldwide Holdings, the hedge fund said on Thursday. The fund said the 10.9 million Hilton shares represented about 13.9 per cent of the net asset value of Pershing Square Holdings.

5. Broadcom is facing antitrust scrutiny from the European Union over the possible use of its market dominance to pressure customers to buy its semiconductors, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday. The preliminary inquiry by the EU focuses on Broadcom’s sales of chips in set-top box hardware used by the cable and satellite industry.

6. Telecom network equipment maker Nokia on Thursday announced a new cost-cutting program after reporting quarterly profits down 27% from a year ago. The Finnish company said it was targeting annual cost savings of 700 million euros by the end of 2020. Meanwhile, South Korea’s LG Electronics said third-quarter operating profit jumped 45% to 749 billion won.

7. Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche on Thursday said customer demand remains strong even as a regulatory crackdown on diesel cars and a 13 per cent sales slowdown for Mercedes-Benz cars in Germany weighed on third-quarter earnings.

8. BT Group named Philip Jansen as CEO on Thursday to replace Gavin Patterson after its chairman said in June a new leader was needed to restructure Britain’s biggest broadband and mobile provider.

9. China’s Wingtech Technology, the world’s largest smartphone contract manufacturer, plans to acquire control of Dutch semiconductor firm Nexperia Holding for 25.2 billion yuan ($US3.63 billion), it said late on Wednesday.

10. And markets are holding their breath for Jeff Bezos’ Amazon to post its third-quarter results on Thursday. While rosy-eyed analysts are watching the digital giant’s advertising and cloud businesses, a surprise pearl may well be hidden among the e-commerce sales numbers thanks to its successful Alibaba rip-off, Prime Day.

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