Good morning! Here’s what you need to know in markets on Thursday.
1. Apple just launched a bunch of new products, including iPhones and an Apple Watch. Click the link to see everything that happened at Apple’s big iPhone launch event.
2. Asian shares won a reprieve on Thursday as news the Trump administration has reached out to China for a new round of trade talks raised hopes a deal could be struck in the bitter tariff dispute between the world’s two biggest economies.Japan’s Nikkei closed up 0.97%, the Hong Kong Hang Seng is up 1.65% at the time of writing (7.25 a.m. GMT/2.25 a.m. ET), and the Shanghai Composite is up 0.61% at the same time.
3. Morrisons, Britain’s fourth-biggest grocer, beat forecasts with a 9% rise in first-half profit, and reported an eleventh straight quarter of underlying sales growth, boosted by moves to broaden its business into wholesale. Reuters reported that for the six months to August 5 the firm made an underlying pretax profit of £193 million – just ahead of analysts’ average forecast of £192 million and up from £177 million made in the same period last year.
4. Chinese electric-car startup Nio, known as the Tesla of China, debuted for trading in the US on Wednesday. Nio, backed by Chinese tech giant Tencent, failed to raise the $US1.8 billion it targeted during its initial public offering.
5. Hershey said on Wednesday it would buy Pirate Brands from B&G Foods for $US420 million in an all-cash deal, giving the chocolate maker rights to snack brands such as Pirate’s Booty, Smart Puffs, and Original Tings. The deal is expected “to be accretive” to Hershey’s financial targets as the company delves into the more than $US2.5 billion cheese puffs market, Hershey said in a statement.
6. The John Lewis Partnership has announced a 99% slump in half-year profits, saying its department stores are being squeezed by the “most promotional market we have seen for almost a decade.” Sky News reported that the company, which also has Waitrose supermarkets in its stable, had previously warned that it expected to make no profits over the first six months of its financial year to 28 July.
7. Chinese online food delivery-to-ticketing services firm Meituan Dianping raised $US4.2 billion in the world’s biggest internet-focused IPO in four years as it priced the float near the top of an indicative range, people close to the deal said. Meituan, backed by Chinese social media and gaming firm Tencent Holdings, sold about 480 million primary shares, or 8% of its enlarged share capital, at HK$69 ($US8.79) each in the Hong Kong IPO, the sources said on Thursday.
8. Asian companies posted their lowest profit growth in nearly two years in the June quarter and earnings are likely to come under further pressure, weighed down by the escalating US-China trade war and high currency volatility, Reuters analyses showed. An analysis of about 4,000 Asian companies excluding Japan showed their combined net profit rose 12.98% in the June quarter, easing for the third straight quarter and the slowest pace of expansion the September quarter of 2016.
9. Adobe, the maker of image-editing software Photoshop, is in negotiations to buy Marketo, a privately held cloud-based marketing software company, according to people familiar with the matter. Private equity firm Vista Equity Partners Management took Marketo private two years ago for $US1.8 billion.
10. Tobacco stocks surged after the US Food and Drug Administration threatened the industry to combat the widespread flavoured electronic cigarette use among young people. The FDA found top-selling brands were popular among minors.
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