10 things you need to know in markets today

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

1. Stock markets were expected to be on the defensive on Monday as a weekend G7 summit fanned trade war fears after US President Donald Trump backed out of a joint communique in a blow to the group’s efforts to show a united front. Japan’s Nikkei closed up 0.49%, the Hong Kong Hang Seng is up 0.42% at the time of writing (7.30 a.m. BST/2.30 a.m. ET), and China’s Shanghai Composite is down 0.56%.

2. South Korean cryptocurrency exchange Coinrail said it was hacked over the weekend, prompting an extended sell-off of bitcoin to a 2-month low amid growing concerns about security at small- to mid-sized virtual currency exchanges. Bitcoin has stabilised on Monday morning and is down 0.03% to $US6,763.83 at 7.30 a.m. BST (2.30 a.m. ET).

3. Private equity firm KKR & Co is nearing an agreement to acquire US physician services provider Envision Healthcare for $US46 a share, or about $US5.5 billion, a person familiar with the deal told Reuters on Sunday. A deal could be announced as soon as Monday, the source said.

4. Rolls-Royce is set to axe more than 4,000 jobs this week as the aero-engine maker tries to slash costs and boost profits. The Sunday Times reports that chief executive Warren East is expected to announce the cull of middle managers and back-office staff at an analyst briefing on Friday.

5. Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi recorded a first-quarter net loss of 7 billion yuan ($US1.09 billion) ahead of its blockbuster initial public offering, according to a filing. That compares with a net loss of 43.89 billion yuan for the whole of 2017, according to its draft prospectus for what is expected to be the first Chinese depository receipts (CDR) offering.

6. A pack of private equity firms are circling the owner of the We‎BuyAnyCar website three years after it motored onto the London stock market. Sky News has learnt that Apax Partners, the London-based buyout group, is working on a potential offer to take BCA Marketplace private in a deal that would be worth more than £1.7 billion ($US2.2 billion).

7. British authorities are investigating Sainsbury’s and Tesco following reports that traces of meat were found in their vegetarian and vegan ready-meals. Recent lab tests reportedly found traces of pork in Sainsbury’s “meat-free” meatballs and traces of turkey in Tesco’s vegan macaroni.

8. A small US startup is working on a set of tools to take advantage of the arbitrage opportunity offered between cryptocurrency exchanges. Arbitraj LLC has built a tool to allow people to compare price spreads of cryptocurrency exchanges and is working on a trading tool to take advantage of them. It has already been approached by hedge funds.

9. Investment manager VanEck is trying its hand at launching a bitcoin-linked investment product for the third time. But one market structure expert says its 19-page risk-disclosure section is “laughable.”

10. Arthur Sadoun told BI why he is betting the future of Publicis Groupe on an AI platform called “Marcel.” The ad agency network desperately needs to change: Its revenues – $US11 billion a year – and stock price are in decline, because Google and Facebook are eating its business.

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