Five Things You Need to Know to Start Your Day
The U.K. Parliament blocks a no-deal Brexit, while Chinese and American trade negotiators meet in Washington. Here are some of the things people in markets are talking about.
2025 Target for China to Meet Trade Pledge
The trade deal that the U.S. and China are crafting would give Beijing until 2025 to meet commitments on commodity purchases and allow American companies to wholly own enterprises in the Asian nation, according to three people familiar with the talks. Talks are continuing in Washington, where the goal is to strike an agreement on the core issues so President Donald Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping can hold a ceremony to sign a deal. Trump’s top economic adviser touted progress in the talks, but cautioned that a final deal remains elusive. Negotiators are “making good headway,” White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow told reporters Wednesday in Washington. “But we’re not there and we hope this week to get closer,” he said. The main outstanding issues include protection for American intellectual property and an enforcement mechanism to ensure China honors its commitments in a trade agreement.
No-Deal Brexit Blocked
Britain's Parliament approved a cross-party bill to block a no-deal Brexit by a single vote, after a lengthy late-night debate in London. The pound rose. Brexiteers no longer have the option of a no-deal exit to fight for. So they are left backing Prime Minister Theresa May, and whatever she comes up with in talks with Corbyn, or facing a potentially long extension of EU membership. Earlier, May and her arch-adversary Jeremy Corbyn agreed to put aside their political differences and work together to try to resolve the Brexit crisis. The U.K. premier and the leader of the main opposition Labour Party have agreed to appoint negotiating teams and to draw up a plan of further work, which will continue with discussions on Thursday.
Stocks Climb to Six-Month High
Asian stocks look ready to rally in the wake of gains in U.S. markets. The benchmark S&P 500 finished positive for a fifth day, equaling the longest winning streak in two months. American equities had slumped midday after Bloomberg News reported that millions of Facebook user records were found on cloud computing servers. On the trade front, the deal that the U.S. and China are crafting would give Beijing until 2025 to meet commitments. Sovereign-debt yields continued to climb from recent two-year lows, while the dollar declined against major peers.
SoftBank Seeks Another $15 Billion
For SoftBank Group Corp., $100 billion isn’t enough. The Japanese conglomerate, which has reshaped the technology startup landscape with its Saudi-backed Vision Fund, is in talks with investors to add as much as $15 billion more to its already-massive fund, said people familiar with the discussions. In about two years, the Vision Fund has invested more than $70 billion in tech companies. SoftBank wants to keep up its deal spree, while leaving enough assets in reserve to continue buying shares in companies it currently backs. Read more here about how the fund shares its profits — and losses.
Millions of Facebook Records Found on Servers
Facebook Inc. user data is still showing up in places it shouldn’t. Researchers at UpGuard, a cybersecurity firm, found troves of user information hiding in plain sight, inadvertently posted publicly on Amazon.com Inc.’s cloud computing servers. The discovery shows that a year after the Cambridge Analytica scandal exposed how unsecure and widely disseminated Facebook users’ information is online, companies that control that information at every step still haven’t done enough to seal up private data. In one instance, Mexico City-based media company Cultura Colectiva openly stored 540 million records on Facebook users, including identification numbers, comments, reactions and account names.
What we’ve been reading:
This is what caught our eye over the last 24 hours.
- Trump says he’s “not inclined” to release his tax returns.
- Ethiopian 737 Max initial crash report set to be released today.
- Walmart’s traditional victims become its allies in India.
- Asia’s worst narcotics threat is messier than opioids.
- Fancy two years in a Singapore jail? Just use the wrong ship fuel.
- Renault accuses Ghosn of questionable expenses, payments.
- At this Australian store, everything sold must be sent to China.
©2019 Bloomberg L.P.