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Good morning. A siege at a Hong Kong university continues, U.S. President Donald Trump met with Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and the U.K.’s two main election rivals face off on television tonight. Here’s what’s moving markets.
Siege Goes On
A siege at Hong Kong Polytechnic University over the past few days became the new focal of protests in the Asian territory, with Chief Executive Carrie Lam calling for a peaceful resolution overnight as fears of a bloody crackdown by police run high. Hundreds of demonstrators have now been evacuated from the university overnight but about 100 remain. Meanwhile, U.K.-listed, Hong Kong-focused bank HSBC Holdings Plc — whose share price has dropped more than 10% since the end of July — has, controversially, shut a corporate account that has helped fund protest-related activities, according to a local media report on Monday.
The dollar tumbled Monday afternoon as it emerged Donald Trump met with the Fed’s Jerome Powell. Trump later said he “protested” to Powell that he considers interest rates too high relative to other developed countries, in line with his previous comments. The U.S. currency is paring its loss this morning, and in stocks, performance was varied in Asia amid the Hong Kong drag and with conflicting trade war updates. A report that the White House would extend a license to allow U.S. companies to do business with Chinese telecom firm Huawei was counteracted by reports suggesting Beijing is skeptical about reaching a broad deal soon.
Deals, Deals, Deals
It’s only Tuesday but we’re already wading through M&A news: a two-way battle has erupted for Bolsas y Mercados Espanoles — the operator of the Madrid stock exchange -- between Switzerland’s SIX Group AG and Euronext NV, operator of a number of bourses including those of Paris and Amsterdam. Meanwhile, Smiths Group Plc has kicked off a sale of its medical-equipment business, Thyssenkrupp AG’s elevator unit is getting bid interest and Aviva Plc’s shares dropped the most in three years after the British insurance group decided against a sale of some Asian assets, including its Singapore business.
U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the leader of the opposition, Jeremy Corbyn, go head to head in their first pre-election television debate on ITV tonight. Corbyn spent part of Tuesday confirming plans to nationalize parts of industries like water and the railways, while the PM scrapped a tax cut for businesses due in 2020, leaving British companies facing an agonizing choice. With bookies’ odds pointing to a Conservative majority, the pound is at a six-month high against the euro — but here’s a reminder of just how wrong oddsmakers can be.
Full-year results from EasyJet Plc could be a marker for the airline sector as the Dubai air show continues, and elsewhere, the Hungarian central bank is expected to leave interest rates as they are and in data, construction of new houses in the U.S. is expected to have rebounded in October after dipping the month prior.
What We’ve Been Reading
This is what’s caught our eye over the past 24 hours.
- Kylie Jenner sells $600 million stake in cosmetics brand to owner of Rimmel, Max Factor.
- Gay-friendly work policies help retain top talent.
- Labor unions in South Africa threaten to bring air travel to a near standstill.
- How portfolio trading spiked to $88 billion from zero in just two years.
- Aramco IPO becomes Saudi affair as London roadshow scrapped.
- Professor wrote on crime, then allegedly laundered millions.
- Former Microsoft chief Ballmer in battle over $1 billion arena for basketball team.
©2019 Bloomberg L.P.