10 things you need to know in markets today

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

1. Theresa May said she is “sorry” for the general election result in a chaotic Conservative Party conference speech on Wednesday. On the final day of the party’s Autumn conference in Manchester, the prime minister paid tribute to activists who campaigned for her in the run-up to the June election, and apologised for running a campaign that was “too scripted, too presidential.”

2. Shares in UK energy companies plunged to multi-year lows on Wednesday after May announced plans to cap prices in the near future. During her conference speech, May said she plans to write a law that will prevent energy companies hiking prices aggressively, saying current rules punish loyal customers. “We will always take on monopolies and vested interests when they are holding people back,” May told the conference.

3. The CEO of Tesco says the former head of rival Sainsbury’s is wrong to suggest Brexit will lead to “higher prices, less choice, and poorer quality” at supermarkets. However, Tesco boss Dave Lewis admitted that the Brexit-driven collapse in the pound is pushing up prices and warned that failure to secure a deal with the EU by the March 2019 Brexit deadline could lead to higher food prices across the UK.

4. The UK’s top banking supervisor Sam Woods urged his counterparts in Europe and beyond to work together, as he warned that Brexit would make British banks more complex — and therefore more risky. “I struggle to see an outcome in which banks and insurers do not get harder to supervise and harder to resolve for all involved,” Woods said.

5. Hedge funds are turning their backs on tech stocks. Until recently, the industry was viewed as the indispensable driver of the equity market. Companies like the so-called FANG group — which includes Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google — received loads of credit for pushing stock indexes to new records. Now the shoe is on the other foot, with hedge funds and other large speculators the most bearish in 16 months on the tech sector, Commodity Futures Trading Commission data show.

6. Goldman Sachs has
agreed to lease offices at a new building in Frankfurt as it looks for extra floor space in the European Union ahead of Britain’s exit from the bloc. Goldman is taking around 10,000 square metres of space in the new Marienturm tower, enough to house as many as 1,000 employees, the bank said in a statement on Wednesday evening.

7. Brevan Howard’s flagship fund, run by billionaire Alan Howard, is down for the year as the firm continues to lose money. The Brevan Howard master fund fell 4.61% this year through September, according to a client update seen by Business Insider. The fund managed $US6.8 billion at the end of August, according to a person familiar with the situation — a far drop from years earlier.

8. A benchmark Puerto Rico bond fell to record lows after President Donald Trump said the US territory’s debt would have to be written off. “You know they owe a lot of money to your friends on Wall Street,” Trump said in an interview with Fox News on Tuesday. “We’re gonna have to wipe that out … You can say goodbye to that. I don’t know if it’s Goldman Sachs, but whoever it is, you can wave goodbye to that.” The general-obligation bond due in 2035 fell to a record low price of 34 cents on the dollar, down from 44 cents on Tuesday.

9. Japan’s Nikkei share average was nearly flat on Thursday morning after hitting fresh two-year highs in the previous session, while investors await major economic data such as U.S. jobs report due later this week. The Nikkei was flat at 20,624.61 in midmorning trade after opening a tad higher. On Wednesday, the index rose to 20,689.08, its highest level since August 2015.

10. The head of a private investment firm came one step closer to leading the Federal Reserve’s regulatory efforts, a key post as President Donald Trump endeavours to trim regulations to boost economic growth. The U.S. Senate voted 62-33 to limit debate on Randal Quarles’ nomination to join the Fed’s Board of Governors, guaranteeing opponents could not delay his confirmation. Quarles is eventually expected to fill the role of vice chair for supervision at the Fed, making him the top official at the central bank in charge of regulatory issues.

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