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Tech selloff goes global, May mulls a different Brexit, and bets against Chinese equities swell. Here are some of the things people in markets are talking about.
The selloff in U.S. tech shares that started on Friday went global on Monday. The Nasdaq 100's losses to kick off the week marked its largest two-session losing streak since Brexit, with quants pointing to a systematic unwind as a contributor to the retreat. A mere five stocks -- Apple Inc., Microsoft Corp., Alphabet Inc., Facebook Inc., and Amazon.com Inc. -- account for roughly three-quarters of the recent pullback in the broader tech-heavy index. After a late-day recovery, the S&P 500 Index finished with only modest losses, while 10-year Treasury yields and oil rose.
U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May told fellow Conservative Party lawmakers that she was sorry for last week's election disaster and was willing to consider a different approach to Brexit. U.K. and European Union officials have been unable to agree on a start date for Brexit negotiations, after a meeting about when to start the other meetings ended without a firm commitment. The British pound continued to take the election results on the chin as the worst-performing G10 currency on Monday.
China Bears Awaken
Short interest on China-focused equity ETFs listed in the U.S. has soared over the past two months. Some of the biggest ETFs that hold Chinese stocks have reached levels not seen since 2015, in stark contrast to the struggling Shanghai Composite Index, as a deleveraging drive threatens to weigh on equities in the region. Measures of fear in foreign exchange markets, however, have remained fairly subdued amid the recent selloff in risk assets. Chinese firms weren't immune to the global tech selloff, with Tencent Holdings Ltd. leading declines in Hong Kong Monday.
There were two major leadership changes announced Monday, one at a blue-chip American multinational company and another at a controversial tech upstart. After 16 years atop the iconic conglomerate, Jeffrey Immelt is out as chairman and chief executive at General Electric Co. amid an activist campaign mounted by Trian Fund Management. His successor, John Flannery, started in GE Capital but most recently helped engineer the turnaround at the firm's health-care business. At the other end of the spectrum, ousted Uber Technologies Inc. executive Emil Michael is reportedly blaming the company's board of directors for not standing by him after a probe into workplace harassment at the firm. Michael, head of business and the closest confident of founder Travis Kalanick, was allegedly tied to at least two incidents highlighted by an investigation led by former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.
A flight to safety saw the Japanese yen gain on all its G10 counterparts Monday, which generally bodes ill for domestic equities. Both Nikkei 225 as well as S&P/ASX 200 futures are in the red as of 5:30 a.m. Tokyo time. Stocks in the region started the week on a sour note thanks to the tech tumult.
What we’ve been reading
This is what caught our eye over the last 24 hours.
- 4,000 cows are being flown to Qatar.
Viking to return $8 billion to investors.
Putting a price on Goldman's "hunger bonds."
Japanese investors aren't buying Brazil anymore.
Trump administration report on steel imports coming soon.
The Bank of Canada just turned hawkish.
Newborn panda in Tokyo fuels rally in retailers.