13.11 - British PM in trouble, Alibaba sales skyrocket
Sentiment in global markets is somewhat negative today as investors are taking caution. In the U.K. problems are mounting for the PM Theresa May as parliament members show their lack of appreciation. Elsewhere, Bitcoin keeps showing big swing after dropping 20% on the weekend. In China, giant Alibaba just broke another record sale for one business day. Here are the big things to know for today.
The GBP suffered heavy losses to start the week, as troubles mounted for British Prime Minister Theresa May after the Sunday Times reported that 40 members of parliament from her Conservative Party have agreed to sign a letter of no-confidence in her.
Just eight more are needed to trigger a party leadership contest, the mechanism through which May could be forced from office and replaced by another Conservative.
The British Pound came under additional pressure after UK Brexit Secretary David Davis said on Sunday that Britain will not offer a figure or a formula for how much it believes it owes the European Union, highlighting the lack of progress plaguing the divorce negotiations.
GBP/USD was last down around 1% at 1.3070, retreating from the 1-week peak of 1.3229 set on Friday.
Global stocks were mostly lower in cautious trade, as pessimism over the state of play on U.S. tax cuts helped drag markets down from record highs reached late last week.
Asian-Pacific markets ended mostly lower. Among notable standouts, Japan's Nikkei slumped 1.3% to pull away further from a 25-year high tested last week. It was the Nikkei's biggest one-day decline in six months.
In Europe, most of the region's bourses were in negative territory in mid-morning trade, as investors focused on earnings, but London's FTSE 100 index rose as the pound weakened.
On Wall Street, U.S. stocks looked set to open modestly lower, as investors looked to key earnings reports to set the tone for the markets. Wall Street's three major indexes ended in the red on Friday, snapping an eight-week winning streak.
Bitcoin prices rebounded, after slumping by more than 20% over the weekend in the wake of a cancelled software upgrade, while the offshoot Bitcoin Cash fell sharply following a 50% weekend rally.
Bitcoin fell to as low as $5,426 on Sunday, down almost 32% from a record high of $7,888 touched last Wednesday. The digital currency last traded at $6,350 by Monday morning, up almost 10% on the day.
Bitcoin, which is known for sharp swings, has tended to rebound quickly from pullbacks. It has risen more than 500% so far this year and at current prices has a total market capitalization of around $105 billion.
As Bitcoin tumbled traders shifted to an alternative version of the digital currency, Bitcoin Cash, which was generated from another software split on August 1.
China’s top e-commerce giants profited over $45 billion during the annual online shopping fiesta known as 'Singles Day', creating a new record in global retail sales for any single day and cementing it as the world's biggest shopping event.
Smashing its own record from last year, Alibaba's Singles' Day sales extravaganza hit a record 168.2B yuan ($25.4B). That represents an impressive 39% increase on last year’s sales total of 120.7B yuan ($17.79 billion).
Rival online retailer JD.com, China's second-largest e-commerce firm, also enjoyed robust sales of 127.1B yuan ($19.14 billion), up 50% from a year ago.
- by Roger Gain