Good Morning! Here’s what you need to know on Friday.
1. Chancellor Philip Hammond faces a “bloodbath” in the next Budget, according to the Financial Times, with official forecasts expected to show that growth has been much slower than thought in recent years. According to the FT, the independent Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) will next Tuesday release new analysis showing that it has drastically overestimated productivity in recent years, which in turn will lead it to offer more pessimistic than expected forecasts of growth at November’s budget.
2. Plans to list Saudi Aramco in 2018 is on track, senior Saudi officials said in Moscow on Thursday, as Saudi Arabia gears up to sign a string of investment agreements with Russia. The plan to float around 5 per cent of Aramco in an initial public offering (IPO) is a centrepiece of Vision 2030, a wide-ranging reform plan to diversify the Saudi economy beyond oil which is being championed by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman.
3. Procter & Gamble, consumer products giant that is the world’s biggest advertiser, has aggressively pushed to clean up the murky digital advertising landscape — including by slashing its own spending on online ads. But the cutback in spending did nothing to hurt sales, its chief brand officer said Thursday. “We cut more than $US100 million in wasteful spending starting last March because we couldn’t be assured ads would not appear next to bad content like a terrorist video,” Marc Pritchard, P&G’s chief brand officer said.
4. Spain’s Constitutional Court suspended the Catalan parliament session planned for next Monday during which regional officials were expected to possibly vote on independence. The parliament session’s suspension is noteworthy because parliament enacts the independence law.
5. Uber’s iPhone app has a secret backdoor to powerful Apple features, allowing the ride-hailing service to potentially record a user’s screen and access other personal information without their knowledge. The existence of Uber’s access to special iPhone functions is not disclosed in any consumer-facing information included with Uber’s app, despite giving the company direct access to features so powerful that Apple almost always keeps them off limits to outside companies.
6. JPMorgan’s marketing chief says Amazon is a real challenger to Facebook and Google in digital advertising. “I think that they are a force to be reckoned with, they are excellent with everything they do,” said Kristin Lemkau, chief marketing officer at JPMorgan Chase. “You have to do business with Amazon.”
7. Oil climbed higher on Thursday as King Salman of Saudi Arabia made the first ever visit by a Saudi monarch to Russia. King Salman told Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow that the two countries will continue to work on stabilising oil markets.
8. $US1.6 trillion asset manager PIMCO doesn’t see another economic recession happening just yet. But with low market volatility and many economies around the world growing steadily, there’s an open door for complacency to creep in. “While the current macro environment and outlook appear better than many of the younger market participants can remember, the last time a similar combination prevailed was in 2006 — and that didn’t end well,” wrote PIMCO’s Joachim Fels and Andrew Balls in their outlook for the next six to 12 months.
9. The S&P 500 has climbed for eight consecutive sessions, the longest streak since summer 2013. More broadly US stocks climbed higher on Thursday ahead of the September jobs report. All three indices once again hit new record highs.
10. Japan’s Nikkei share average scaled a two-year peak on Friday, on track for a weekly gain, buoyed by the impact of a weaker currency as well as record highs on Wall Street. The Nikkei was up 0.3% during afternoon trade hitting 20,695 points, after probing its highest levels since October 2015.
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