- REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton
Good morning! Here’s what you need to know in markets on Wednesday.
1. Catalonia says that it has won the right to be independent, but proposes suspending the consequences of the vote “for dialogue.” “We propose to suspend the effect of the independence declaration … in order to work towards putting into practice the result of the referendum,” Carlos Puigdemont, the Catalonian president, told the regional parliament in Barcelona on Tuesday evening local time (CEST).
2. It would be irresponsible to spend taxpayers’ money now in preparation for a “no-deal” exit from the European Union, the chancellor believes. In a move likely to anger staunch Brexiteers, Philip Hammond uses an article in The Times today to make clear that he will not commit billions of pounds in next month’s budget to planning for a hard breakaway.
3. The profitability of the average UK farm could fall by as much as half after Brexit, new research suggests. The report, by the Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), says the “worst-case scenario” would cut average farm profits from £38,000 a year to just £15,000.
4. Asian shares rose on Wednesday, tracking Wall Street’s rally to all-time highs, while the euro hovered near a 10-day peak after Catalonia’s leader talked down immediate plans to secede from Spain, easing near-term concerns about eurozone instability. Japan’s Nikkei is up 0.31% at the time of writing (6.20 a.m. BST/1.20 a.m. ET), and the Hong Kong Hang Seng is up 0.04%. China’s Shanghai Composite is up 0.25%.
5. Online lender Zopa is close to finishing building the tech it needs to launch a full bank, according to its CEO. Jaidev Janardana told Business Insider: “In terms of building, we are actually pretty close to finishing all of the composite parts of the technology build and we are now starting to put them together.”
6. Goldman Sachs is continuing to fill its ranks with top tech talent to cement its position as a leading technological force on Wall Street. On Tuesday the financial services powerhouse said Jeff Wecker, a former senior manager at Bridgewater Associates, the Connecticut-based hedge fund, will join the firm in the new role of chief data officer, according to a memo seen by Business Insider.
7. Credit reporting agency Equifax said on Tuesday that 15.2 million client records in Britain were compromised in the massive cyber attack it disclosed last month, including sensitive information affecting nearly 700,000 consumers. The US-based company said 14.5 million of the records breached, which dated from 2011 to 2016, did not contain information that put British consumers at risk.
8. Russian President Vladimir Putin is sounding the alarm over cryptocurrencies, signalling that the country may soon crack down on the exploding cryptomarket. The Financial Times on Tuesday reported that Putin said cryptocurrencies like bitcoin posed “serious risks” and allowed for people to “launder criminally obtained money, evade taxes, and even finance terrorism as well as, of course, perpetuating fraudulent schemes that obviously may affect ordinary citizens.”
9. Food delivery startup Deliveroo and cab-hailing company Uber have acknowledged they would need to make fundamental changes to their businesses if they lose a series of tribunals over the employment status of their workers. Each company is facing separate court battles over whether their riders and drivers are actually “workers”, who would be entitled to the national minimum wage and paid holiday, and would, therefore, cost more.
10. Britain will publish a formal proposal on Wednesday for a levy on social media firms and internet providers to help fund its online safety strategy, designed to tackle bullying, abuse and other risks for children and vulnerable users. Prime Minister Theresa May and her ministers have been critical of firms like Twitter, Facebook, and Google, repeatedly calling on them to do more to stop the spread of extremist content online and help victims of abuse.