10 things you need to know in markets today

Former FBI Director Robert Mueller stands for the national anthem during a farewell ceremony for him in 2013.

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Former FBI Director Robert Mueller stands for the national anthem during a farewell ceremony for him in 2013.
source
REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Good morning! Here’s what you need to know in markets on Tuesday.

1. All of the government’s most important ministers stayed in their positions during Prime Minister Theresa May’s cabinet reshuffle on Monday. Boris Johnson remained Foreign Secretary, while Philip Hammond and Amber Rudd retained their posts as Chancellor and Home Secretary respectively. The biggest move was resignation of Education Secretary Justine Greening after May tried to move her to the Department of Work and Pensions.

2. Special counsel Robert Mueller’s team is in talks with President Donald Trump’s legal defense team about interviewing him as part of the Russia investigation, multiple media outlets reported on Monday. Mueller is overseeing the FBI’s investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election and whether members of the Trump campaign colluded with Moscow to tilt the race in his favor.

3. Apple will be one of the largest beneficiaries from President Donald Trump’s tax overhaul because as much as $24 billion could be freed up due to the lowered corporate tax rate, UBS Analyst Steven Milunovich said. Milunovich says that Apple has already been factoring in the lowered statutory US corporate tax rate of 25%-as proposed in President Donald Trump’s tax overhaul-in its target capital structure, which determines how the company finances its operations and growth.

4. Meanwhile, Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway could also be one of the biggest beneficiaries of tax reform in the insurance sector, according to Barclays. The company’s book value could increase by about $37 billion, said Jay Gelb, an insurance analyst at Barclays, in a note on Monday. That’s $10 billion more than what he estimated in a November note before the tax plan was finalized and signed.

5. U.S. oil prices hit their highest since 2015 again on Tuesday as speculators bet on further price rises amid OPEC-led production cuts and a dip in American drilling activity, though some warned the rally could run out of steam. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $62.14 a barrel at around 6.35 a.m. GMT – 41 cents, or 0.7%, above their last settlement.

6. TransferWise is quietly launching its new “borderless” accounts and linked debit card to just 1,000 consumers on Tuesday. TransferWise first announced the “borderless” account, which lets people hold up to 28 currencies through one account, last May. It followed on from a similar product launched by rival international currency exchange WorldFirst. TransferWise’s new account is linked to a debit card that lets people spend in local currency around the world on one card.

7. Alibaba Group Holding Ltd will consider a listing in Hong Kong, the South China Morning Post reported the company’s founder Jack Ma as saying – remarks which follow the city’s decision to allow dual class share listings. Ma was responding to an invitation by Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam to list in the city during a discussion at an event in Hong Kong.

8. Two U.S. companies withdrew proposals to launch bitcoin-based exchange-traded funds pending before the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Monday, citing ongoing concerns by the regulatory agency, filings showed. Staff at the SEC “expressed concerns regarding the liquidity and valuation” of futures based on the digital assets, according to one of the filings.

9. Ripple’s XRP, the third largest cryptocurrency by market cap, slumped as much as 20% Monday as all three of the world’s largest digital tokens came under pressure.Ripple has been in the headlines a bunch over the past week thanks to the meteoric rise of XRP, which has made multi-millionaires out of those lucky enough to hold massive amounts, like Ripple co-founder Chris Larsen. The currency is now down almost 40% from its recent highs however.

10. GoPro announced on Monday that it was cutting more than 250 jobs, and lowered its forecast for fourth-quarter revenues. In its preliminary fourth-quarter results, the action-camera maker said it was reducing its global workforce to fewer than 1,000 people.