Tue. Sep 29th, 2020

Stock markets fall amid fresh worries over US-China trade deal – business live

  • Fears mount that ‘phase one’ trade deal may not be signed until next year, as both sides step up demands and US legislation on Hong Kong angers China

8.56am GMT

ING economists Iris Pang and Robert Carnell are warning that liquidity in Hong Kong has tightened. The city’s status as a major Asian financial centre is under threat after months of pro-democracy protests have led to increasingly violent clashes between protesters and police.

The ING economists note that the violence on the streets of Hong Kong started on 12 June and has become more frequent and more extreme.

But we need to be careful. It could be that the Alibaba IPO has masked the protest-related outflows. [The Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba raised about $11bn in a share offering in Hong Kong yesterday. The shares start trading on 26 November.]

If the HIBOR-LIBOR spread increases again, and at the same time the US dollar-Hong Kong dollar exchange rate returns to 7.85, money could indeed be moving out of Hong Kong.

8.21am GMT

In London, Royal Mail is the biggest faller on the FTSE 250. The shares tumbled more than 12% to 202.9p after the company said its transformation is behind schedule.

Royal Mail reported a fall in first-half profit before tax to £146m from £182m. Rico Back, the chief executive, warned of a tough outlook, especially for letters, even though there will be a boost from next month’s general election. The company is investing £1.8bn in an attempt to turn the business around.

Our transformation is behind schedule. We are investing more because of the industrial relations environment, the general election and Christmas, to underpin our quality of service at this key time. This is likely to impact our productivity for the remainder of the year.

People are posting fewer letters and receiving more parcels. We have to adapt to that change. The challenging financial outlook in the UK means now, more than ever before, we need to make the changes required – and accelerate them – to ensure a successful UK business.

Continue reading…Fears mount that ‘phase one’ trade deal may not be signed until next year, as both sides step up demands and US legislation on Hong Kong angers China 8.56am GMTING economists Iris Pang and Robert Carnell are warning that liquidity in Hong Kong has tightened. The city’s status as a major Asian financial centre is under threat after months of pro-democracy protests have led to increasingly violent clashes between protesters and police.The ING economists note that the violence on the streets of Hong Kong started on 12 June and has become more frequent and more extreme. But we need to be careful. It could be that the Alibaba IPO has masked the protest-related outflows. [The Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba raised about $11bn in a share offering in Hong Kong yesterday. The shares start trading on 26 November.]If the HIBOR-LIBOR spread increases again, and at the same time the US dollar-Hong Kong dollar exchange rate returns to 7.85, money could indeed be moving out of Hong Kong. 8.21am GMTIn London, Royal Mail is the biggest faller on the FTSE 250. The shares tumbled more than 12% to 202.9p after the company said its transformation is behind schedule.Royal Mail reported a fall in first-half profit before tax to £146m from £182m. Rico Back, the chief executive, warned of a tough outlook, especially for letters, even though there will be a boost from next month’s general election. The company is investing £1.8bn in an attempt to turn the business around.Our transformation is behind schedule. We are investing more because of the industrial relations environment, the general election and Christmas, to underpin our quality of service at this key time. This is likely to impact our productivity for the remainder of the year.People are posting fewer letters and receiving more parcels. We have to adapt to that change. The challenging financial outlook in the UK means now, more than ever before, we need to make the changes required – and accelerate them – to ensure a successful UK business. Continue reading…