10 things you need to know in markets today

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

1. Asian shares stumbled in holiday-thinned trading on Monday as China’s decision to cancel talks with the United States reinforced fears of a protracted trade war. China added $US60 billion of US products to its import tariff list, retaliating against US duties on $US200 billion of Chinese goods that came into effect on Monday.

2. US cable giant Comcast scored a big win in the scramble for media assets by beating Rupert Murdoch, and his backer Disney, in the battle for Sky with an eye-watering $US40 billion bid.It was a “great day” for Comcast, chairman and CEO Brian L. Roberts said of Saturday’s auction victory.

3. Dell Technologies is exploring an IPO after shelving the option earlier this year in favour of going public by buying back a special type of stock from investors, people familiar with the matter said on Sunday. Dell’s IPO deliberations come as several hedge funds, including Elliott Management and Canyon Capital Advisors, as well as activist investor Carl Icahn, resist a $US21.7 billion cash-and-stock offer from Dell to buy back “tracking stock” from them tied to Dell’s 81% stake in software company VMware.

4. Britain’s opposition Labour Party will vote this week to keep a second Brexit referendum on the table if Prime Minister Theresa May fails to pass her plan to leave the European Union through parliament, media reported. Earlier, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said he would back a second Brexit referendum if his Labour Party voted to pursue the move, heaping pressure on May, whose plans for a divorce deal with the EU have hit an impasse. Meanwhile, May’s aides have begun contingency planning for a snap election in November to save both Brexit and her job, the Sunday Times reported.

5. German engineering group Siemens is working on a deal worth up to €9 billion ($US10.6 billion) to supply energy generation technology to Iraq, business daily Handelsblatt reported, citing government and industry sources. Siemens CEO Joe Kaeser has travelled to Iraq to secure a memorandum of understanding with the country on Sunday, the paper said.

6. Singapore’s anti-trust watchdog fined ride-hailing firms Grab and Uber a combined S$13 million ($US9.5 million) over their merger deal, and ordered Uber to sell vehicles from its local leasing business to any rival that makes a reasonable offer.US-based data-qa-component=”highlight-text”> Uber sold its Southeast Asian business to bigger regional rival Grab in March in exchange for a 27.5% stake in the Singapore-based firm.

7. The world’s largest advertising company WPP is preparing to consolidate some of its businesses in a bid to keep pace with the industry’s digital shift, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday. The company, under its new boss Mark Read, is considering a merger between Young & Rubicam and WPP’s digital-ad firm VML, putting the combined group under the leadership of VML CEO Jon Cook, WSJ reported, citing sources.

8. A reshuffling of Wall Street benchmark industry sectors that transferred high-flying FANG stocks like Facebook and Google-parent Alphabet out of the technology label may be a boon to some under-the-radar companies that used to compete with them for investor attention. Companies such as Cisco, Juniper Networks, Xerox, Akamai, and Texas Instruments that do not often grab headlines could be among the unexpected winners from the largest reclassification of companies on Wall Street since 1999, fund managers say.

9. The deputy head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards warned US and Israeli leaders on Monday to expect a “devastating” response from Iran, accusing them of involvement in Saturday’s attack on a military parade in the city of Ahvaz that killed 25 people.“You have seen our revenge before … You will see that our response will be crushing and devastating and you will regret what you have done,” Hossein Salami said in a speech before the funeral of the victims in Ahvaz, broadcast live on the state television.

10. A New Zealand supermarket chain pulled a brand of Australian strawberries off its shelves after needles were found in punnets purchased from a store in Auckland. A scare has gripped neighbouring Australia, where police are investigating more than 100 reports of needles found in fruit during recent weeks.

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