10 things you need to know in markets today

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

1. Ryanair is cancelling hundreds of thousands more bookings. The company said that it will ground 25 of its 400 aircrafts between November 2017 and March 2018, affecting hundreds of thousands of customers who have already booked flights.

2. The Guardian reports that Ryanair is facing enforcement action from the Civil Aviation Authority for “persistently misleading passengers” about their rights, piling more woe on the no-frills carrier as it announced a second wave of flight cancellations that will affect 400,000 people. In a letter to the Dublin-based airline, the CAA said chief executive Michael O’Leary was wrong to tell passengers last week that it did not have to arrange new flights for them after an initial batch of cancellations were announced.

3. Uber has denied it treats drivers differently to other minicab firms in London as it appeals a landmark legal ruling that its drivers are owed workers rights such as sick pay and holiday leave. The ride-hailing app said that its business model of treating its 40,000 London drivers as self-employed and assigning them jobs via an app was no different to one that minicab firms have used for years, just on a “much larger scale.”

4. Scania has been fined €880 million as the European Commission closed its file on a cartel of lorry makers told to pay €3.8 billion for rigging prices on more than nine out of ten vehicles they sold in Europe over 14 years, the Times reports. The Swedish lorry maker, owned by Volkswagen, refused to settle with the commission in July last year when record-breaking cartel fines totalling €3 billion were handed out to Volvo, Daimler, Iveco and DAF.

5. Japan’s Nikkei share average rebounded on Thursday morning after Wall Street gained and the dollar rose against the yen on hopes U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration may be making progress on a tax plan. The Nikkei gained 0.3% to 20,318.45 in midmorning trade, after falling for two days.

6. Google’s price comparison service will compete with rivals for the right to appear at the top of the search engine’s home page, in an effort to comply with an European Union anti-trust ruling, the Guardian reports. Google Shopping will also operate as a separate business, seeking to make a profit, albeit it will continue to be part of Google’s parent company, Alphabet.

7. Thousands of workers at Britain’s biggest tobacco supplier were facing an anxious wait for news on Wednesday night about a rescue deal aimed at safeguarding the company’s future. Sky News reports that talks about a takeover of Palmer & Harvey (P&H), which supplies every Tesco outlet in the UK, remained in the balance amid an increasingly urgent need for new investment.

8. Monarch Airlines has landed bids for parts of its struggling short-haul business from rivals including easyJet and WizzAir as it seeks to extricate itself from a bitter industry price war. Sky News reports that a pack of airlines tabled proposals this week to partner with or take ownership of Monarch’s short-haul operations.

9. Piers Pottinger has stepped down as chairman of Bell Pottinger’s Asian division after its formal separation from its disgraced British parent company ten days ago. The Times reports that Pottinger, who co-founded the firm with Tim Bell in the late 1980s, has resigned his position with immediate effect.

10. And finally… A “RegTech” company founded by three Oxford grads all under 30 has raised $US30 million (£22.4 million) from investors including Microsoft’s venture capital arm. Onfido, an identity verification startup, has raised the “Series C” fundraising from Crane Venture Partners, Microsoft Ventures, and Salesforce Ventures, as well as existing investors. It takes the total raised by the London startup to over $US60 million.

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