Good morning! Here’s what you need to know in markets on Wednesday.
1. Apple unveiled not one, but three new iPhones at its hardware event on Tuesday. The iPhone X, iPhone 8, and iPhone 8 Plus join a slew of new products and services from Apple, many of which are set to roll out as early as this Friday.
2. Crisis-hit PR firm Bell Pottinger has formally entered bankruptcy proceedings after failing to find a buyer. It collapsed after a PR campaign in South Africa that allegedly encouraged racism against white people. Accountancy firm BDO has been appointed an administrator for the firm.
3. US stocks extended record highs overnight as the Trump administration plotted a tax overhaul and North Korean tensions remained subdued. The S&P 500 rose 0.3% as concerns over the cost of Hurricane Irma ebbed, adding to Monday’s all-time closing high. Meanwhile, the Dow increased 0.2% and the more tech-heavy Nasdaq climbed 0.3%.
4. Asian shares inched up to a 10-year high on Wednesday, cheered by record highs on Wall Street, while the dollar’s rise against the yen helped boost Japanese shares. Japan’s Nikkei share index is up 0.45% at the time of writing (6.25 a.m. BST/1.25 a.m. ET), while the Hong Kong Hang Seng is down 0.28%, and China’s Shanghai Composite is up 0.07%.
5. UK unemployment and earnings numbers are coming at 9.30 a.m. BST (4.30 a.m. ET). The Office for National Statistics will release figures for August, with the unemployment rate forecast to stay at a record low of 4.4% and wage growth excluding bonuses expected to accelerate from 2.1% to 2.2%.
6. Goldman Sachs has cut its third-quarter GDP forecast for the US economy following a pair of catastrophic hurricanes. The firm now sees GDP expanding by 2% during the period, down 0.8 percentage points from its previous forecast.
7. JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon says bitcoin is worse than the most famous asset bubble in history. The cryptocurrency is “worse than tulip bulbs,” Dimon said at a Barclays Conference on Tuesday, according to Bloomberg. Bitcoin is down over 3% against the dollar at the time of writing (6.50 a.m. BST/1.50 a.m. ET).
8. Some of the UK’s top financial technology businesses have formed an industry body to protect and promote the sector’s interests post-Brexit. Entrepreneurs from TransferWise, Funding Circle, Onfido, Monzo, FreeAgent, MarketInvoice, and Starling Bank have all joined the Fintech Delivery Panel (FDP), a new industry group that aims to “produce an ambitious post-Brexit vision for the UK’s fintech sector.”
9. One-time advertising tech unicorn Ve Interactive has raised £15 million from its investors to aid its turnaround, after a turbulent year involving job cuts, a change of CEO, and near-insolvency. Ve Global, as the company is now called, has raised the money from existing backers including Aston Ventures, which formed part of the firm’s buyout consortium in April.
10. The owner of Comparethemarket has pushed the float of the group back into 2018, insisting that if markets turn “frankly we’ll sit and wait” until even later. The Telegraph reports that the boss of BGL Group, which runs the price comparison website made famous by its Russian meerkat adverts as well as a number of other insurers, said earlier this year that he was eyeing a listing in the second half of 2017 with sources in recent months saying they expected a float as soon as this autumn.
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