Good morning! Here’s what you need to know in markets on Friday.
1. The European Commission’s chief negotiator has ruled out a key part of Theresa May’s Brexit customs plan, effectively killing her attempt to preserve frictionless trade.Michel Barnier said the EU could not agree to let another country collect European customs duties on its behalf – a key principle of the British plan for the future relationship.
2. Asian stocks struggled to gain traction on Friday, following a mixed Wall Street finish and as the worsening Sino-U.S. trade dispute kept investors in the region cautious, despite signs of rapprochement between the United States and Europe.MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan dipped 0.1 per cent. The CSI300 of Chinese shares fell 0.5 per cent.
3. Former Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne had reportedly been undergoing treatment for an illness a year before his death. According to the Wall Street Journal, the hospital in Switzerland where Marchionne died issued a statement saying that “[d]ue to serious illness, he had been the recipient of recurring treatment for more than a year.” “Although all the options offered by cutting-edge medicine were utilised, Mr. Marchionne unfortunately passed away,” University Hospital Zurich added.
4. Qualcomm’s proposed $US44 billion acquisition of NXP Semiconductors collapsed on Thursday – more than two years after it was first announced. The deal fell apart after Chinese regulators let the deadline for approval pass without signing off. “There were probably bigger forces at play here than just us,” Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf said in an interview prior to the deadline. “We are still fans of the deal and the logic behind the deal.”
5. Young investors are betting that Facebook’s earnings disaster and subsequent stock landslide are presenting a buying opportunity to get the stock at an attractive valuation.Data pulled from Robinhood – the free stock-trading app popular with young adults – shows roughly 27,000 more users had snapped up the stock Thursday morning compared to the same time a week ago.
6. Bank of America has filled one of its most senior investment banking positions with a 25-year industry vet from Barclays.Jill Schwartz is joining Bank of America as the executive vice chairman of Global Corporate and Investment Banking, according to a memo from investment bank head Christian Meissner obtained by Business Insider.
7. The proportion of voters who favour a referendum on the final terms of any Brexit deal has overtaken those who do not for the first time, according to a YouGov poll for The Times.When they were asked whether there should be a referendum on the final terms of any Brexit deal, 42% said there should be a fresh vote while 40% said there should not.
8. BP has agreed to buy U.S. shale oil and gas assets from global miner BHP Billiton for $US10.5 billion, giving the British oil major a much bigger footprint in oil-rich onshore basins.BP also increased its quarterly dividend for the first time in nearly four years and announced a $US6 billion share buyback, to be partly funded by selling some upstream assets.
9. Improbable, the buzzy British tech startup backed by SoftBank, has doubled its valuation after taking strategic investment from Chinese gaming giant NetEase.The company has raised $US50 million (£38 million) from issuing new shares, and NetEase has also acquired some existing shares, giving it a small stake in the startup.
10. Chipotle surged more than 6% in after-hours trading Thursday after the burrito chain posted earnings that topped Wall Street expectations.For the second quarter, Chipotle said it earned an adjusted $US2.87 per share, while analysts had expected $US2.76. It also posted revenue of $US1.267 billion, compared to the consensus Wall Street estimate of $US1.261. Cheaper avocado prices were to thank for the extra earnings power, the company said, citing food costs that were down 150 basis points to 32.6% of revenue.
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