10 things you need to know in markets today

Good Morning! Here’s what you need to know on Wednesday.

1. It’s GDP day in the UK. The Office for National Statistics will later on Wednesday report its first estimate for the growth of the British economy in the third quarter of 2017. Analysts polled prior to the release forecast that the ONS’ data will show Britain grew 0.3% in the quarter, matching growth for Q2.

2. Breaking with decades of tradition, Chinese President Xi Jinping has not identified a successor for the end of his rule in 2022. In recent decades the Communist Party’s most powerful group, the Politburo Standing Committee, has always included at least one potential successor. However, none of the members in the committee introduced to the press on Wednesday have the right pedigree — in experience and youth — to take over from Xi. The move is widely interpreted as an indication that Xi will seek a third term in 2022.

3. Bitcoin, the red-hot digital currency up more than 400% this year, lost ground on Tuesday and early Wednesday after the blockchain network underpinning the coin split again. As reported by cryptocurrency watcher CoinDesk, bitcoin gold officially split from the bitcoin network Tuesday morning. The new cryptocurrency is a clone of the original bitcoin blockchain, but it will play by different rules than the original digital currency.

4. The Nikkei’s record breaking winning streak looks to be coming to an end. By 6.50 a.m. BST (1.50 a.m. ET) Japan’s benchmark share index is 0.46% lower on the day to trade at 21,705 points. Previously, the Nikkei had climbed for 16 consecutive days, but a record 17th day of positive trading looks out of reach.

5. Goldman Sachs is ramping up its private-equity investments and going after smaller, high-growth targets as part of a broad plan to offset recent trading declines, three people familiar with the effort told Reuters. Goldman’s investment bank, which typically focuses on advising large companies on mergers and raising capital, is now looking to use Goldman’s own funds to finance a handful of small, promising companies in the near-term

6. T-Mobile US and Sprint Corp are laying the groundwork for special committees of their board of directors to decide on a merger between the third and fourth largest U.S. wireless carriers, according to Reuters. Both T-Mobile and Sprint have formed committees comprising independent board directors to decide on whether the deal should be signed once the merger agreement has been finalised, which is currently expected in the next three weeks, the sources said.

7. The Dow Jones Industrial Average on Tuesday rose to a record high after Caterpillar and 3M crushed third-quarter earnings estimates. Caterpillar beat Wall Street’s profit and sales estimates, driven by strong demand for its construction equipment in North America and China. It also raised its full-year forecasts.

8. Elsewhere on Wall Street, fast casual dining chain Chipotle on Tuesday reported third-quarter earnings that missed the lowest forecast from Wall Street analysts. The fast-casual chain reported earnings per share of $US0.69 and adjusted EPS of $US1.33, missing analysts’ consensus forecast for $US1.63 according to Bloomberg. Revenue totaled $US1.13 billion, missing the estimate for $US1.14 billion. Sales at stores open for at least one year rose 1% (1.2% forecast.)

9. South Korea’s LG Display said third-quarter operating profit surged 81 per cent from a year earlier on the back of a recovery in panel prices. Operating profit for July-September came in at 586 billion won ($US519 million), up from 323 billion won in the same period a year ago.

10. At least three bidders are expected to be shortlisted for the second round of an auction for Unilever’s margarine and spreads business while two other private equity groups are no longer in the fray, sources told Reuters. Buyout funds Blackstone and CVC Capital Partners, who were teaming up on a joint offer, are no longer in the running for the business which could be worth more than $US7 billion, the sources said on Tuesday.

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