Here are the top business, market, and economic stories you should be watching today in the UK, Europe, and abroad:
Markets dive on Mexico tariffs
European stock markets are diving on Friday after US President Donald Trump surprised the world by hitting Mexico with new tariffs.
Trump announced on Twitter late on Thursday that the US would impose 10% tariffs on all imports coming from Mexico from June 10 “until such time as illegal migrants coming through Mexico, and into our Country, STOP.” The tariffs would also rise over time.
The surprise tariff announcement comes as the US is in a tense trade standoff with China and has revived fears that President Trump’s combative approach to trade negotiations could risk plunging the global economy into recession.
Deutsche Bank warned in a note to clients on Friday morning that the announce Chinese tariffs combined with the new Mexico ones “would start having a significant and potentially crippling impact on US industry” if they come fully into affect.
“Coming at a time of a breakdown in talks with China, it’s another blow to bulls and we should consider further downside risks from escalation,” Neil Wilson, the chief market analyst at Markets.com, said. “The worry is who’s next on Trump’s list - the EU may be next.”
European markets are diving as a result. Britain's FTSE 100 (^FTSE) was down by 1.1%, Germany's DAX (^GDAXI) was down by 1.3%, France's CAC 40 (^FCHI) was down by 1%, and the Euronext 100 (^N100) was down by 1%.
Asian markets were also hit overnight. Japan's Nikkei 225 (^N225) closed down by 1.6%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng index (^HSI) was down by 0.9%, and China's benchmark Shanghai Composite (000001.SS) was down by 0.2%.
CBI warns Tory hopefuls on Brexit
Tory leadership contenders have been warned that a no-deal Brexit would cause “severe” damage to British business.
Confederation of British Industry director-general Carolyn Fairbairn urged the next prime minister to reach an agreement with Brussels, warning that the “vast majority of firms can never be prepared for no deal”.
She said the next prime minister needed to listen to “clear, detailed evidence” from businesses when deciding on their Brexit approach.
In an open letter to the 11 participants in the race for Number 10, Ms Fairbairn said: “The next prime minister can only claim the Conservatives are the party of business if they secure a Brexit deal that protects the economy, jobs and living standards.”
Uber (UBER) beat sales estimates but announced a loss of $1bn in its first quarterly report since going public.
Revenue at the ride railing giant jumped by 20% to $3.1bn in the first quarter of 2019, beating expectations of analysts polled by FactSet.
The San Francisco-based firm, like its main US competitor Lyft (LYFT), has spent heavily on rider promotions and driver incentives to gain market share, one reason the companies have struggled to reach profitability. However, the company said pressure from Lyft has since eased.
Both Uber and Lyft are dealing with intense competition, high costs to pay drivers, increased regulation by cities and a long, uncertain road to the development of autonomous vehicles.
“Our investments remain focused on global platform expansion and long-term product and technology differentiation, but we will not hesitate to invest to defend our market position globally,” said Nelson Chai, Uber’s chief financial officer, in a statement.
Allianz buys UK insurer
The deal for Legal and General’s insurance business is expected to complete later this year, the company said. It will see two million customers with household insurance policies transfer to Allianz.
L&G said in 2018 gross written premiums were £410m, but there was no operating profits.
Mecca Bingo-owner mulls takeover
The deal comes as Stride revealed revenues fell 13.5% to £36.6m in the six months to end of February compared with a year earlier. Pre-tax profits for the period fell 32% to £2.6m.
The 151p offer price is at a 28.5% premium to the Stride share price before the offer, and values Stride at £114m.
Rank Group has until 5pm on June 28 to make a formal offer for Stride Gaming or walk away, under City regulations.
Both companies said: “There can be no certainty that this will result in an offer for the company, nor as to the terms on which any offer might be made.”
Wizz Air results
Passenger numbers at budget airline Wizz Air (WIZZ.L) jumped by 16.7% in the year to end of March.
The rise in customer numbers helped revenues rise 19.6% to €2.3bn, with pre-tax profits up 4.5% to €300m.
Wizz Air chief executive Jozsef Varadi said the airline is benefiting from the struggles facing other airlines in Europe.
He said: “We remain very optimistic for the current financial year. Higher fuel prices are supporting a stronger fare environment and we expect these macro conditions to provide Wizz Air with market share opportunities as weaker carriers withdraw unprofitable capacity.”
Tech industry insiders and cryptocurrency entrepreneurs are divided on the prospects of Facebook’s (FB) much-anticipated new “GlobalCoin.”
Facebook plans to launch its own cryptocurrency — dubbed “GlobalCoin” — next year, according to reporting by the BBC, the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, and Bloomberg. The company has over 60 employees working on the secretive project internally.
Yahoo Finance UK spoke to a tech industry CEO, crypto entrepreneurs, and analysts to find out what they think about the project. Opinion is divided. Some think it will be a game-changer that spurs crypto adoption. Others predict an expensive turkey that goes nowhere. Read the full story.
What to expect in the US
US stock futures were pointing to a lower open amid tariff and growth fears.
Companies reporting later in the US today include:
Build-A-Bear Workshop (BBW)