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Good morning. There’s a change in leadership at one of the world’s most important technology firms, sentiment in equities is being hurt by a lack of clarity on international trade and the pound is holding gains before next week’s election. Here’s what’s moving markets.
It’s the end of an era at Google, where founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin are stepping down as leaders of parent group Alphabet Inc., ending day-to-day involvement just as regulators intensify scrutiny of an internet industry the two men helped form. Sundar Pichai, currently CEO of Google, will also now run Alphabet, giving him the reins at projects like autonomous cars and health-care technology. While Page and Brin will still be controlling shareholders and stay on the board, here’s why the changes mark an end to their efforts to become the Warren Buffett of tech.
Asian stocks followed U.S. peers lower for a second day after U.S. President Donald Trump told reporters in London Tuesday that he has no deadline for a partial trade deal with China, and as the passing of a U.S. bill that could see new sanctions imposed on Chinese officials over human rights abuses against Muslim minorities threatened to further slow up proceedings. Shares in Paris took much of the trade war impact in Europe amid a risk of fresh U.S. tariffs on goods ranging from wine and cheese to handbags.
France’s CAC 40 wasn’t Europe’s worst-performing blue chip index yesterday: the U.K. FTSE 100 sank 1.8%, the most in two months, as polls showing a firm lead for the Conservative party ahead of next week’s election lifted the pound and hurt exporters’ shares. In latest campaigning, Jeremy Corbyn continues to tout protection of Britain’s treasured National Health Service from a U.S. trading pact as a reason to vote for his Labour party. At least Bank of America is ready for Brexit. The pound edged lower this morning, up about 0.5% against the dollar this week.
The global banking sector has now cut more than 75,000 jobs this year, with the vast majority of them in Europe, as negative interest rates and a slowing economy force lenders to slash costs. The latest to swing the axe was Italy’s largest bank, UniCredit SpA. The full-year results season starting in January will be eyed for more bank cost-cutting, according to Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Jonathan Tyce, with HSBC Holdings Plc and Societe Generale SA among those that need to cut back, he wrote in a note.
Euro-area finance ministers meet in in Brussels and the Polish central bank is expected to leave its interest rates as they are. Elsewhere, this afternoon’s U.S. ADP employment report sets us up for nonfarm payrolls on Friday, while China Caixin services purchasing managers index numbers topped expectations overnight.
What We’ve Been Reading
This is what’s caught our eye over the past 24 hours.
- Goldman’s Solomon plays DJ at Amazon event.
- Chinese schoolchildren are world’s smartest.
- Cobblestone streets, neo-Gothic steeples and cocaine cartels.
- Merseyside derby tests U.K. broadband.
- Flight shaming revives sleeper trains.
- Spotify reveals decade's most-streamed songs.
- Robots in aisle two.
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