10 things you need to know in markets today

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

1. The European Central Bank on Thursday announced that it will further taper its bond-buying programme but extended quantitative easing until at least September 2018, as had been widely forecast prior to the decision. The ECB announced that it will reduce its bond-buying to €30 billion per month, down from the current level of €60 billion per month. The reduction will come into force in January 2018.

2. Amazon boosted its revenue by 34% year-over-year, blowing past Wall Street targets. Amazon’s all-important cloud computing unit reported $US4.6 billion in revenue, up from $US3.2 billion, up 34%. Wall Street has been concerned about slowing growth with AWS but it’s still growing well.

3. Google’s parent company Alphabet topped Wall Street’s Q3 financial targets, as its mobile search advertising business and YouTube video site pushed revenue up 24% from the year before. The company generated $US27.77 billion in revenue, and as a result shares of Alphabet were up as much 4% in after hours trading on Thursday, following the announcement.

4. Microsoft’s fiscal first quarter earnings beat Wall Street expectation on both the top and bottom lines. Shares in the company, which reported its results after the closing bell on Thursday, inched up almost 4% to about $US81.75 in after-hours trading. The legendary tech firm reported adjusted earnings per share of $US0.84 versus $US0.72 expected, and revenues of $US24.5 billion versus $US23.56 billion expected.

5. U.S. economic growth probably slowed in the third quarter as hurricanes Harvey and Irma restrained consumer spending and undercut construction activity. According to a Reuters survey of economists, gross domestic product likely increased at a 2.5% annual rate in the July-September period after a brisk 3.1% pace in the second quarter.

6. Former senior HSBC currency trader Stuart Scott will be extradited to the United States to face charges that he defrauded Cairn Energy in a $US3.5 billion currency trade in 2011, a London court ruled on Thursday. On Monday Scott’s former boss Mark Johnson was convicted of fraud in the United States in the same case. “We believe the U.S. government’s case to be flawed and materially inaccurate and we also believe that this has led the court to fall into error,” a lawyer representing Scott said.

7. Japan’s Nikkei share average rose 1.2% to a 21-year high on Friday, led by banking shares as U.S. yields remained high and by tech shares after their U.S. counterparts posted strong earnings. For the week, the index has risen over 2.3%, on track to post seventh straight weekly gains, the longest weekly winning streak in almost a year.

8. Twitter slightly beat Wall Street’s expectations for its third-quarter earnings but reported that it had overstated monthly users since late 2014. The company said that with cost-cutting measures, it expects to turn a profit in the fourth quarter. Its stock surged 18%. Its stock surged 18%.

9. Australia’s High Court is due to rule on Friday whether the deputy prime minister can remain in parliament as he held dual citizenship when elected. If he is found ineligible, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull would lose his one seat majority. Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce is one of seven politicians whose eligibility to sit in parliament was thrown into doubt when it was discovered in recent months that they were dual citizens, which bars them from holding elected office under Australia’s constitution.

10. The US might be the wealthiest country in the world, but it’s not churning out the most billionaires. That title goes to China, which added 67 new billionaires in 2016, or one about every five days, according to a report on billionaires by UBS and PwC released Thursday. “According to the Asian billionaires we interviewed for this report, a combination of geopolitical stability in Greater China, rising Chinese real estate prices, infrastructure spending, the growing middle class and buoyant commodity prices all joined together to boost wealth,” the report said.

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