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Good morning! Here’s what you need to know in markets on Thursday.
1. EU leaders are preparing to offer a two-year Brexit transition deal as early as January after negotiators said that they were close to a breakthrough over the Northern Ireland border, the Times reports. British officials tabled proposals this week to avoid a “hard border” in Ireland that could unblock the last remaining major obstacle to a deal, The Times understands.
2. Donald Trump launched an extraordinary attack on British Prime Minister Theresa May on Tuesday after she criticised him, further fueling the firestorm caused by his early-morning retweets of extremist anti-Muslim videos.
3. Earlier in the day, the US president had retweeted inflammatory hate videos posted by a leader of Britain First, an ultra-nationalist far-right group that peddles anti-Muslim conspiracy theories. The videos, intending to depict Muslims in a bad light, were given clickbait titles.
4. Millions of iPhone users could be in line for compensation after the launch of a mass legal claim against Google for illegally harvesting personal data from Apple handsets, the Times reports. The claim group, led by Richard Lloyd, former executive director of the consumer watchdog Which?, aims to secure a settlement of £1 billion or more for the estimated 5.4 million people who are believed to have had information unlawfully collected by the technology giant.
5. The London Stock Exchange has launched an extraordinary attack on one of its biggest investors in a bitter row that has resulted in boss Xavier Rolet leaving “with immediate effect,” a year earlier than planned, the Telegraph reports. Mr Rolet had been due to remain in his job until December 2018 but today said he had agreed to leave straight away, just one day after Bank of England Governor Mark Carney indicated that he did not back calls by one of the LSE’s biggest investors for him to stay.
6. Uber has admitted that 2.7 million people in the UK were affected by a 2016 security breach that compromised customers’ information, including names, email addresses and mobile phone numbers, the Guardian reports. The ride-hailing company had previously disclosed that 57 million people worldwide were affected by a breach that it covered up for more than a year.
7. German engineering giant Siemens is to float its medical business in Frankfurt in what is set to be the country’s largest flotation in a generation – and a blow to the London exchange caused by Brexit. The initial public offering is expected to see the company sell up to 25pc of its Healthineers medical imaging and diagnostics business early next year in a deal that values the division at up to €40bn (£35.3bn).
8. Japan’s Nikkei share average rose to a three-week high on Thursday as gains by financial stocks offset weakness in tech shares following a drop by their U.S. counterparts overnight, Reuters reports. The Nikkei, which was down part of the day, ended 0.6% higher at 22,724.96. The broader Topix advanced 0.3% to 1,792.08.
9. Taxpayers will on Thursday take another step towards recouping money injected into the banking system during the 2008 financial crisis with the formal launch of a £5.5bn auction of housing loans, Sky news reports. UK Asset Resolution (UKAR) will announce that it has kicked off the process to offload the Bradford & Bingley (B&B) mortgages, more than six months after bankers were hired to prepare the process.
10. Lloyds Banking Group and Yorkshire Building Society have announced dozens of branch closures between them, in a move that has raised fresh fears about the decline in the availability of bricks and mortar banking, Sky reports. Lloyds – which returned to private hands in the spring following its 2008 taxpayer bailout – said it would be closing 49 of its 1,843 branches under the Halifax, Bank of Scotland and Lloyds brands, with 99 staff losing their jobs.
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