5 top finance stories, and how China explains the dollar's tumble

Sam Ro
Managing Editor
What’s news?

Here are the top finance stories right now:

Streaming wins big at Emmys: Hulu’s dystopian saga “The Handmaid’s Tale” took home the Emmy for best drama. This was one of seven awards the series took home including best drama actress for Elisabeth Moss and outstanding writing for Bruce Miller. Netflix-produced program, including “The Crown” and “Master of None,” won 20 Emmys.

Slack a $5.1 billion company: Messaging startup Slack Technologies raised $250 million from SoftBank Group and others, giving the company a valuation of $5.1 billion.

Northrop Grumman nears deal to buy Orbital: Defense contractor Northrop could soon announce a $7.7 billion deal to buy missile and rocket maker Orbital ATK, Reuters reports.

Hurricane Maria seen strengthening: Maria approaches the eastern Caribbean less than two weeks after Irma made landfall. The storm is expected to hit Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands on Wednesday. Hurricane watches are in effect for Antigua, Barbuda, St. Kitts, Nevis, and Montserrat.

Key Equifax execs depart: Late Friday, Equifax announced that its chief information officer David Webb and chief security officer Susan Mauldin would leave the company immediately. This follows a major data breach exposing the personal information of 143 million Americans.

Market update:

World markets are rallying, brushing off the latest defiant act from North Korea. Stocks closed higher in Asia with Japan’s Nikkei climbing 0.5% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng up 1.2%. Markets are up across Europe with the Euro Stoxx 50 up 0.5%. Dow futures are up 62 points and S&P futures are up 6 points.

What’s ahead Friday (All times ET):

  • 10:00am: NAHB Housing Market Index: Economists estimate this index of homebuilder sentiment fell to 65 in September from 68 a month ago.

Something to think about: The real reason the dollar is tumbling

The US dollar has been tumbling relative to the world’s major currencies. Analysts have broadly attributed this to the dovish Federal Reserve and Trump administration’s inability to advance stimulative economic policy. But High Frequency Economics’ Carl Weinberg points to the significance of more oil-producing nations accepting Chinese yuan for crude. From O’Sullivan: “Our best explanations for the dollar’s cheapening are all based on the growing role of China in the global economy. This is most evident in the oil market… The prospect of the world’s largest importers and exporters of oil pricing and trading crude in yuan is a big dollar-negative. If oil trade moves to yuan, it will mean a potential loss of $800 billion per year in U.S. dollar transactions, and a similar reduction of $800 billion in recycling of petro-surpluses into U.S. dollar assets. That is not a pretty picture for either the dollar or U.S. securities in the longer term…”

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