Good morning! Here’s what you need to know in markets on Monday.
1. Bitcoin has broken through $4,000 a coin for the first time. The cryptocurrency broke through the level early on Sunday morning and, at the time of writing (6.15 a.m. BST/1.15 a.m. ET), stands at $4.087.29.
2. The euro will be worth more than Britain’s currency by the end of the first quarter of 2018, analysts from Morgan Stanley said in a client note circulated on Friday. In the bank’s latest FX Overview paper, a team led by strategist Hans W. Redeker argue that a combination of a stronger euro and a weakening pound will combine to make the euro more valuable than the pound for the first time in its history, and make it – in terms of pure value – the strongest major currency on the planet.
3. Legal & General has expressed an interest in bidding for a £10 billion tranche of Prudential’s annuity portfolio, the Times reports. For Prudential, the nation’s biggest insurer, the news is likely to fuel speculation of a break-up following its announcement last week of a major review of operations that will result in the merger of its UK insurance operation with the fund manager M&G.
4. Rocket Internet and Kinnevik Online, two of Europe’s leading backers of internet start-ups, will this week announce the sale of Glossybox, a beauty products subscription service. Sky News has learnt that The Hut Group, the British-based health and beauty retailer, has agreed to buy Glossybox from Rocket and Kinnevik.
5. Japan’s Nikkei share average tumbled to near a three-month low on Monday, recoiling in response to a stronger yen as tensions between the United States and North Korea prompted investors to dump riskier assets. The Nikkei is down 0.88% at the time of writing (6.20 a.m. BST/1.20 a.m. ET), whilst elsewhere in Asia the Hong Kong Hang Seng is up 1.12%, and China’s Shanghai Composite is up 0.74%. The Yen is up 0.35% against the dollar.
6. A surging stock market and a renewed “wealth effect” helped push the Japanese economy to its sixth consecutive quarter of growth – the longest unbroken streak in more than a decade and a possible lifeline for the foundering “Abenomics” revival programme. The Financial Times reports that Japan’s gross domestic product grew an annualised 4% in the April to June quarter – higher than the market’s 2.5% median expectations and a strong improvement on the revised 1.5% annualised figure for the quarter to March.
7. German grocery chain Aldi said on Sunday it has partnered with Instacart to deliver groceries in three US cities, a move that comes amid intense competition and disruption in the industry. Aldi will launch a pilot starting the end of this month in Los Angeles, Atlanta, and Dallas, with the potential of expanding to more cities in the future.
8. A unit of Chinese conglomerate Fosun Group’s pharmaceutical business on Monday said it is bidding for a stake in US speciality drugmaker Arbor Pharmaceuticals. Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical Group said in a stock exchange filing its Hong Kong unit submitted a non-binding bid for a stake in Arbor, which is backed by private equity firm KKR & Co, without disclosing the financial terms.
9. Key nuclear power players have been called in by the Government for crunch talks on plans to meet Britain’s energy demands with new small reactor technology, amid mounting fears over delays and Whitehall paralysis. The Telegraph reports that industry giants including NuScale, Rolls-Royce, Hitachi, and Westinghouse have been summoned by ministers in a bid to reignite interest in the project.
10. The liquidator of collapsed fashion group BHS has launched a legal action against Sir Philip Green’s fashion empire. The Daily Mail reports that the action has been filed in the High Court by SHB Realisations, formerly BHS, and now being run by liquidator FRP Advisory.