- Thomson Reuters
Good morning! Here’s what you need to know in markets on Wednesday.
1. Chancellor Philip Hammond delivered a pared-down spring statement on Tuesday which said the UK economy is faring better than predicted.The statement used to act as a “mini-budget,” but Hammond has broken with tradition and pledged to deliver only one budget a year, in the Autumn.
2. Britain will not pay off its Brexit divorce settlement until the year 2064 – 46 years from now – according to the latest economic forecasts from the Office for Budget Responsibility.The UK will pay £16.4 billion to the EU between the years of 2019-2010; £18.2 billion between 2021 and 2018; and £2.5 billion spread out between 2019 and 2064, the OBR said on Tuesday.
3. President Donald Trump has asked Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to leave his post, choosing CIA Director Mike Pompeo to replace him, the White House said Tuesday. The CIA’s deputy director, Gina Haspel, will succeed Pompeo, becoming the first woman to lead the agency pending Senate confirmation for both her and Pompeo.
4. Broadcom is reportedly planning to scrap its $117 billion bid for Qualcomm after President Donald Trump blocked the chipmaker’s proposed acquisition on national security grounds. Sources say Broadcom’s board was meeting on Tuesday night to formalize its plans and it could make an announcement as soon as Wednesday.
5. Asian shares eased on Wednesday amid fears of rising U.S. protectionism as President Donald Trump fired his Secretary of State, regarded as a moderate in his administration, and eyes hefty tariffs on Chinese imports.The combination left investors scurrying for safety as global equities took a knock, the dollar fell and bonds rose.
6. Barclays has agreed to provide US cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase with access to the UK’s Faster Payments Scheme in a first for the bank and for an exchange in the UK. Coinbase is gaining access to the Faster Payment Scheme, the core payment infrastructure used by consumers to move money in the UK.
7. Apple may soon be the first company to reach a $1 trillion valuation. Earlier this week Apple executive Eddy Cue said the company isn’t planning any major acquisitions.
8. The UK government is considering phasing out 1p and 2p coins, as well as £50 notes, in a bid to tackle tax evasion, money laundering and waste. The Chancellor Philip Hammond has begun consulting the British public about whether to phase out the denominations over the coming years as part of a move towards digital payments.
9. The UK’s deadline has now passed for Russia to explain itself over accusations it was behind the poisoning of former spy Sergei Skripal with a nerve agent. Russia is refusing to respond to Britain’s accusation unless it is provided with a sample of the nerve agent used.
10. Democrat Conor Lamb moved close to pulling off an improbable win, keeping the Democratic momentum going on Tuesday as he led Republican Rick Saccone in the special election for Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District. With more than 99% of precincts reporting, Lamb held a lead of less than 1,000 votes over Saccone.