10 things you need to know before European markets open

Good morning! Here’s what you need to know on Monday.

Oil is going mad. Crude oil futures are on a tear in Asia, jumping around 5% following news that some non-OPEC members will join their OPEC compatriots in reducing output levels in 2017. Front-month Brent Crude futures — the global benchmark price — have jumped by 4.45%, sitting at $US56.75 per barrel as of 6.40 a.m. GMT.

Thousands of people have backed a new legal challenge to Brexit that will examine whether Article 50 is reversible. The case is being led by Jolyon Maugham, a tax barrister, and it launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise funds on Friday. By Sunday it has reached its £70,000 target, with donations from almost 2,000 people.

Britain’s biggest companies are troublingly gloomy about the future prospects of the economy, according to the most recent Boardroom Bellwether, a twice yearly survey by ICSA, the governance body, and the Financial Times. The study found that three-quarters of FTSE 350 company secretaries surveyed expect UK economic conditions to deteriorate during the next 12 months.

The British Chambers of Commerce nudged up its forecast for economic growth next year. The BCC modestly revised up its expectations for gross domestic product growth to 1.1% for 2017 from 1.0% after a stronger-than-expected economic performance following June’s vote to quit the EU. However, it also downgraded the outlook for 2018 due to inflation pressures and ongoing uncertainty as Britain prepares to leave the European Union.

Bonds are selling off everywhere. The bond market sell-off which began back in July and intensified since the US presidential election continues in Asia today with US 10-year treasuries rising to 2.49% — their highest level since June 2016.

Asian stocks had a mixed start to the week. Japan’s Nikkei share average rose for a fifth day on Monday helped by a strong show on Wall Street and a weak yen, while investors picked up defensive stocks that underperformed in the recent rally. The Nikkei rose 0.8% to 19,155.03, the highest closing level since mid-December last year. However, elsewhere on the continent, stocks were a little lower, with Hong Kong’s Hang Seng down 1.1% soon before the close.

Japan’s core machinery orders rose 4.1% in October from the previous month, Cabinet Office data showed on Monday, in a tentative sign of a pickup in capital expenditure. The rise in core orders, a highly volatile data series regarded as an indicator of capital spending in the coming six to nine months, compared with economists’ median estimate of a 1.0% increase.

The party of populist anti-Islam Dutch MP Geert Wilders has risen strongly in the polls since he was tried and convicted of discrimination, according to a survey published Sunday. If legislative elections due next March were held this week, Wilders’ Freedom Party (PVV) would pick up 36 out of 150 seats in the lower house of parliament, making it the biggest single political group, it found.

Shares in high-risk City companies that let people effectively bet on shares and commodities have collapsed by close to 45% since the start of the month, following a global crackdown on the industry. Regulators in Cyprus, Britain, and Germany have all taken action against the companies that offer products known as contracts for difference (CFDs) since the start of the month.

Executives from some of the top tech companies in the world will meet with president-elect Donald Trump in New York on Wednesday, according to reports from Recode and The Wall Street Journal. The list of attendees includes Apple CEO Tim Cook, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Alphabet CEO Larry Page, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, and IBM CEO Ginni Rometty.

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