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Elon Musk backed by Fortnite maker in battle against 'menace to freedom' Apple - live updates

Elon Musk launched a tirade against Apple - REUTERS/Dado Ruvic
Elon Musk launched a tirade against Apple - REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

The maker of the Fortnite series of games has leapt to the defence of Elon Musk after the Twitter owner accused Apple of threatening to pull the social network from its App Store.

Mr Musk attacked the iPhone maker with a flurry of tweets on Monday, saying the company had cut its Twitter advertising and threatened to bump the social network from Apple's App Store.

The SpaceX chief executive  asked whether Apple hated free speech, criticised its app fees and even pondered whether the tech giant might go after another of his companies, Tesla.

Mr Musk, 51, also posted a meme suggesting he planned to "go to war" rather than pay the 30pc fee.

Tim Sweeney, the chief executive of Epic Games, which makes the hugely successful Fortnite series, gave his support, calling Apple "a menace to freedom worldwide".

In 2019, Epic sued Apple for anticompetitive behavior with its App Store, but a judge ruled largely in favour of the world’s most valuable company last year.

Both Epic and Apple are appealing the case after the judge also said Apple should allow developers to link customers to their own payment systems.

Mr Sweeney said: "Epic attempted to open discussions for five years, from 2015 to 2020. Apple would never talk. This is chronicled in the public record of the Epic v Apple antitrust trial.

"Apple is a menace to freedom worldwide. They maintain an illegal monopoly on app distribution, they use it to control American discourse, and they're endangering protesters in China by storing sensitive customer data in a state-owned data center [sic]."

Read the latest updates below.

09:33 AM

Goldman Sachs 'to move London traders to Milan'

Goldman Sachs - REUTERS/Andrew Kelly
Goldman Sachs - REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

Goldman Sachs is shifting some of its traders from London to Milan amid the European Central Bank's (ECB) push for the world's biggest banks to relocate staff to within the EU.

The Wall Street giant will likely move staff early next year, with Goldman also hiring staff locally, according to Bloomberg.

A spokesman for the bank declined to give details on the number of people moving. The bank has 80 people currently employed in Milan.

Banks are under pressure to move traders from London to EU cities like Paris, Frankfurt and Amsterdam.

The ECB said in May that lenders in the euro area are still too dependent on operations outside the bloc.

It said a fifth of trading desks it reviewed "warranted targeted supervisory action".

09:21 AM

Social media giants face multi-million pound fines if they fail to ban child accounts

Social media firms will be forced to bar underaged children or face multi-million pound fines under a new law to protect them from harm online.

Home affairs editor Charles Hymas has the latest:

The Government will unveil the revamped Online Safety Bill today, which will compel companies by law to publish how they enforce age limits so parents, as well as the watchdog Ofcom, can test their credibility.

Firms that do not follow their own terms and conditions, including on age limits, will face fines of up to 10pc of their global turnover. For Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, that would be up to $12bn (£10bn).

The move follows a four-year campaign by the Telegraph for new "duty of care" laws to better protect children from online harms.

The new bill also addresses concerns over freedom of speech by dropping plans for restrictions on content described as "legal but harmful".

Read what will be required of companies.

09:08 AM

Oil prices rally as China fears cool

Oil prices have rallied on the prospect of a pick-up in demand in China if leaders roll back some of their Covid restrictions.

Brent crude, the international benchmark, is up 2.4pc to more than $85 a barrel, while West Texas Intermediate (WTI) has increased 2.1pc to just below $79.

Oil prices fell to 11-month lows on Monday as protests gripped China, sparking concerns about demand in the world's second largest economy.

08:48 AM

Energy and mining stocks lead FTSE 100

The commodity-heavy FTSE 100 rose with energy and mining stocks leading the rally and mirroring global gains as the possibility of less stringent Covid curbs in China helped lift investor sentiment.

The blue-chip index was up 0.5pc, tracking Asian and European peers, while the domestically-focused FTSE 250 midcap index slipped 0.1pc.

Heavyweight energy stocks rose 1.5pc as oil prices climbed on hopes of easing in China's Covid controls after Beijing held a news conference on Covid prevention and control measures this morning.

Base metal miners climbed 1.8pc as prices rebounded on support for property sector in top metals consumer China brightened demand outlook.

Among single stocks, easyJet fell 3.4pc after the airline reported another full-year loss despite rival Jet2's recent return of profitability.

08:36 AM

Covid restrictions hit car manufacturing in China

Employees work on a production line inside the Honda factory in Wuhan - REUTERS/Aly Song
Employees work on a production line inside the Honda factory in Wuhan - REUTERS/Aly Song

China's strict zero-Covid regime hit the nation's car production with at least three major manufacturers halting work because of restrictions.

Japan's Honda suspended operations in Wuhan because of limitations on movement in the area. It may remain closed tomorrow.

Honda has also halted work at another plan producing engines for lawn mowers in Chongqing.

Yamaha is partially suspending production at its motorcycle plant in Chongqing, where 8,721 new Covid cases were reported on Monday.

Toyota is adjusting production of parts at its Chinese factories, although a spokesperson declined to elaborate on why, simply blaming multiple factors.

08:17 AM

Qatar signs natural gas deal with Germany

Qatar has agreed to send Germany two million tons of liquefied natural gas a year for at least 15 years as Europe's biggest economy scrambles for alternative supplies after Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

With the deal, starting in 2026, Qatar aims to "contribute to efforts to support energy security in Germany and Europe" said Saad Sherida al-Kaabi, Qatar's energy minister and chief executive of QatarEnergy.

It comes a week after the Gulf nation agreed to send four million tons of liquified natural gas to China.

The deal between state-controlled companies Qatar Energy and Sinopec will also begin in 2026, lasting for 27 years.

08:01 AM

UK markets inch higher

UK stock markets edged higher at the open as China avoided another night of protests after a weekend of unrest, with speculation growing that officials will announce a further easing of the country's strict Covid restrictions.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 was up 0.1pc to 7,492.56 and the domestically-focused FTSE 250 increased by the same percentage to 19,311.89.

However, sentiment has been tempered by warnings from top Federal Reserve policymakers that US interest rates would rise further and could go higher than initially thought to fight inflation.

07:54 AM

Bankrupt lender BlockFi sues FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried

Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder and former chief executive of FTX - Erika P. Rodriguez/The New York Times
Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder and former chief executive of FTX - Erika P. Rodriguez/The New York Times

BlockFi, the crypto lender which has filed for bankruptcy, is suing the founder and former boss of collapsed exchange FTX to seize shares in Robinhood.

The company claims the shares were pledged by Sam Bankman-Fried as collateral just days before his exchange collapsed, according to the Financial Times.

The lawsuit came just hours after BlockFi filed for bankruptcy protection after suffering "a severe liquidity crunch" triggered by the fall of Mr Bankman-Fried's crypto empire.

BlockFi's complaint, which was filed in the same New Jersey court where it initiated bankruptcy proceedings, targeted Bankman-Fried's Emergent Fidelity Technologies vehicle and demanded it turn over unspecified collateral.

The collateral at issue is Bankman-Fried’s stake in Robinhood, the online trading company, according to loan documents seen by the FT. He bought 7.6pc of Robinhood earlier this year.

Mr Bankman-Fried provided emergency financing for BlockFi in June that gave him an option to buy the lender at a fire-sale price.

07:42 AM

EasyJet 'does well in tough times'

Johan Lundgren, easyJet's chief executive, was positive about the airline's results, which come after low-cost rival Jet2  announced last week it had swung back into profit.

Mr Lundgren said:

EasyJet has achieved a record bounce back this summer with a performance which underlines that our transformation is delivering.

The summer saw easyJet achieve its highest ever earnings for a single quarter.

EasyJet does well in tough times.

Legacy carriers will struggle in this high-cost environment.

Consumers will protect their holidays but look for value and across its primary airport network, easyJet will be the beneficiary as customers vote with their wallets.

07:37 AM

EasyJet cuts losses as holiday demand bounces back

easyJet - REUTERS/Albert Gea
easyJet - REUTERS/Albert Gea

Budget airline easyJet has reported sharply narrowed annual losses after a bounceback in demand for summer holidays drove its best ever quarterly performance.

The group posted underlying pre-tax losses of £178m for year to the end of September against losses of £1.1bn the previous year.

EasyJet said it notched up its best ever earnings for a single quarter over the summer quarter, at £674m on an underlying basis, as the ending of pandemic travel restrictions put overseas holidays firmly back on the agenda.

But the group cautioned over "market wide" cost pressures and said it first half fuel price was set to be more than 50pc higher year on year due to soaring inflation.

07:30 AM

'Would they nuke Twitter?'

Tim Sweeney, the chief executive of Fortnite maker Epic Games, posted a series of tweets on the dispute between Elon Musk and Apple.

His company played hardball with Apple and it went all the way to the courts. If more companies have disputes with the world's most valuable company, what might happen next?

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07:20 AM

Good morning

Elon Musk's tumultuous month atop Twitter has already included firing most of the company's employees, tinkering with key features and restoring banned accounts.

Now he is embarking on what could be his riskiest gambit yet: a war with Apple.

The billionaire attacked the iPhone maker with a flurry of tweets Monday, saying the company had cut its Twitter advertising and threatened to bump the social network from Apple's app store.

Epic Games chief executive Tim Sweeney has rallied to support the Twitter owner, calling Apple "a menace to freedom".

5 things to start your day

1) Musk threatens ‘war’ with Apple over claims it is censoring free speech - Elon Musk has threatened to “go to war” with Apple after accusing the iPhone-maker of stifling free speech on Twitter and threatening to block its app

2) How Xi’s zero-Covid mismanagement left China’s economy on the brink - Unrest in Shanghai has rapidly grown into the worst protests against Beijing in decades

3) Ben Wright: We underestimate Beijing’s financial colonialism at our peril - It's hard not to form the conclusion that Beijing is deliberately setting debt traps for developing nations to stumble into

4) Private equity billionaire accused of rape in Epstein's mansion - Leon Black's lawyer called the claims 'categorically false and part of a scheme to extort money'

5) Millions of rural households will be forced to spend £13k on heat pumps - Rural homeowners could be forced to spend £13,000 on controversial heat pumps as “net zero” rules cause traditional oil heating systems to be banned

What happened overnight

Tokyo stocks closed lower this morning after Wall Street stocks slumped on worries about China's zero-Covid policy.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index ended down 0.48pc, or 134.99 points, at 28,027.84, while the broader Topix index slipped 0.57pc, or 11.34 points, to 1,992.97.

Frustration over China's hardline Covid restrictions has sparked a weekend of rare protests nationwide, and security forces have filled the streets of major cities such as Beijing and Shanghai.

Investors are also shifting their attention to a speech by US Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell this week, Mizuho Securities said in a note.

Meanwhile, shares of Chinese property companies surged after the country's securities regulator lifted a ban on equity refinancing for listed property firms.

That helped Chinese blue chips jump almost 3pc, in the largest one-day rally in a month and a marked reversal of Monday's steep falls.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan followed with gains of 1.8pc, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng climbed 3.9pc.