Good morning! Here’s what you need to know in markets on Monday.
1. Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives beat their rivals on Sunday to win her a fourth term in an election that will also bring a far-right party into Germany’s parliament for the first time in more than half a century, exit polls showed. Many look to Merkel to rally a bruised liberal Western order, tasking her with leading a post-Brexit Europe.
2. The euro slipped on Monday after Merkel’s win, but faced leading a much less stable coalition in a fractured parliament as support for the far-right party AfD surged, Reuters reports. The euro was down 0.22% at $US1.1931 at 6.38 a.m. BST (1.38 a.m. ET) on Monday, putting more distance between a 2.5-year high of $US1.2092 reached on September 8, when a European Central Bank policy meeting left currency bulls optimistic the ECB would begin tapering its big stimulus programme.
3. Royal Bank of Scotland has postponed plans to introduce a cut-price credit card amid concerns about the £200bn of lending amassed by UK households. The bank, which is 70% owned by the taxpayer, has decided against launching a more competitive credit card at a time when the consumer credit market — personal loans, credit cards and car finance — is facing scrutiny from the Bank of England.
4. Labour is to announce plans for a broad cap on the total interest anyone can pay to a credit card company, potentially helping some three million Britons trapped in a debt spiral. Shadow chancellor John McDonnell will unveil the policy at his party’s conference on Monday, claiming soaring household debt is threatening to derail the economy.
5. The credibility of an expert witness put up by the pharmaceuticals industry has been shot down by a NHS watchdog in a legal row over drugs pricing. Court papers obtained by The Times show that the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) has dismissed evidence from drugs companies as “plainly not independent.”
6. A buyout firm is edging closer to a rescue deal for the tobacco supplier Palmer & Harvey (P&H) that would preserve thousands of jobs, reports Sky News. Sky says Carlyle, the company whose British investments include the RAC breakdown service, is close to entering a period of exclusivity during which it would seek to conclude a takeover of P&H.
7. Uber could stay on the road if it met the “reasonable” demands set out by Transport for London, senior Labour frontbencher Diane Abbott has said. Speaking to Sky News, the shadow home secretary backed the decision not to renew the taxi-hailing company’s licence in London, and added: “But Uber could, even at this late stage, improve its levels of vetting of its drivers. It could treat its drivers fairly, give them the minimum wage.”
8. The boss of the Chinese-backed private equity firm behind a proposed £550m takeover of Imagination Technologies is already eyeing further acquisition opportunities in the UK, the Telegraph reports. Ray Bingham, partner at Canyon Bridge, told paper that there are other British technology businesses that it is looking at and the firm is in the process of raising more money from investors.
9. Oil prices stood little changed on Monday, keeping most of their gains from the previous session to hold near their highest levels in months, as major producers meeting in Vienna said the market was well on its way toward rebalancing. London Brent crude for November delivery was up 1 cent at $US56.87 a barrel by 1.49 a.m. BST, having settled up 0.8% on Friday. U.S. crude for November delivery was down 4 cents at $US50.62, having risen 0.2% on Friday.
10. A row over a confidential regulatory report into the activities of Royal Bank of Scotland’s restructuring division has descended into farce after Noel Edmonds claimed to have a copy. The television presenter said on his website that he had “obtained” the secret Financial Conduct Authority review of the treatment of small and medium-sized companies by RBS’s Global Restructuring Group (GRG).
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