10 things you need to know before European markets open

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

Yahoo says hackers stole the account information of 500 million users in 2014, making it the biggest data breach of all time. Yahoo believes data — which includes names, email addresses, telephone numbers, and birthdays — was stolen by a “state-sponsored actor,” but says there is no evidence that the hacker still has access to Yahoo’s network or internal services.

The Chicago Board Options Exchange, commonly known as the CBOE, is in talks to buy Kansas-based Bats Global Markets, according to Bloomberg. A sale of Bats, which is the second largest equity market in the US, would come less than six months after the company went public. Shares priced at $19 at the IPO, and closed at around $26.53 on Thursday. That gave it a market cap of around $2.6 billion.

One of the USA’s top share indexes hit a new all-time high. The tech-dominated Nasdaq index rose to an all-time high in trading, as stocks continued to rally following the Federal Reserve’s decision to leave interest rates unchanged on Wednesday. Amazon shares rose to an all-time high, passing $800 per share for the first time in its history.

Asian stocks slipped overnight. Japan’s Nikkei share average edged down on Friday as investors took profits on financial stocks that had soared in the previous session, and worries about a stronger yen kept the market on edge. The share market re-opened after a national holiday in Japan on Thursday, when the dollar tumbled to a nearly four-week low of 100.10 yen in reaction to the U.S. Federal Reserve paring its longer-term expectations for interest rate increases. Around 6:50 a.m. BST (1:50 a.m. ET) the Nikkei 225 is lower by 0.36% to trade at 16,746 points.

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson told Sky News on Thursday that Britain was aiming to trigger Article 50, the formal process for leaving the European Union, early next year. However, UBS’ Chief Investment Office said in a note on Thursday that a series of major political events in Europe in 2017, including a general election in France and Germany, will make triggering Article 50 difficult because Brexit negotiations might not get the full attention of these countries.

There’s finally signs of life in Japan’s manufacturing sector. Activity levels across Japan’s manufacturing sector improved for the first time in seven months in September, albeit by the smallest of margins. The Nikkei-Markit flash manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) rose by 0.8 points to 50.3 in September, marking the first time since February that the index printed above the 50 level.

The low volatility, low rate environment is great news for China. “There’s probably a lot of cause for celebration in China for what happened this week. From China’s perspective, boring is beautiful,” argued Mirza Baig, the head of Asian FX and interest rates strategy at BNP Paribas, at a press breakfast on Thursday. “As long as the rest of the world is boring — low volatility, low rates, no policy divergence — China is happy.”

It is European PMI day. On Friday morning, we’ll get the first estimates from IHS Markit about the state of industry within the eurozone in September, as well as breakout readings from France and Germany. Eurozone-wide composite PMI is expected by economists to come in at 52.8, just down from August’s 52.9 reading.

Airbnb has raised $555 million in a new funding round led by Google Capital and Technology Crossover Ventures. The cash infusion is part of a desired $850 million round that the company still plans to raise.

There’s a hot new posting in finance. Wall Street dealmakers used to be sent to Hong Kong or London to win new business. Now they’re being sent to Seattle, Atlanta, and Denver. Bank of America, JPMorgan, and Citigroup have been taking steps to do more business with midsized companies in regional centres in the US, outside of the traditional hubs like New York, Houston, and San Francisco.

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