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What to Watch: G20 trade talks, US criminal charges against UK exec, stocks sink

Yahoo! Finance UK logo Yahoo! Finance UK 30/11/2018 Alanna Petroff
Donald Trump, Xi Jinping are posing for a picture: US president Donald Trump and China’s president Xi Jinping will discuss trade at the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Photo: Artyom Ivanov/Getty Images © Provided by Oath Inc. US president Donald Trump and China’s president Xi Jinping will discuss trade at the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Photo: Artyom Ivanov/Getty Images

Here are the top business, market and economic stories you should be watching today in the UK, Europe and abroad: 

Xi Jinping wearing a suit and tie: What to Watch: G20 trade talks, US criminal charges against UK exec, stocks sink What to Watch: G20 trade talks, US criminal charges against UK exec, stocks sink

G20 in the spotlight

A two-day annual summit of the world’s top economies will open on Friday in Argentina with leaders struggling to contain the fallout from a US-China trade war that has roiled global markets, hurt business confidence and upended traditional trade flows.

Onlookers and attendees are bracing for the kind of divisive geopolitical drama that US president Donald Trump often brings to the international stage.

The bitter US-China trade dispute has pitted the world’s two largest economies against one another, with each side imposing tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars of imports.

All eyes will be on a planned meeting between Trump and Chinese president Xi Jinping on Saturday to see whether they can make progress toward resolving differences that threaten the global economy.

Criminal charges over $11bn Autonomy deal

The United States has filed criminal charges against the high-profile UK executive Mike Lynch over the $11bn (£8.6bn) sale of the British software company Autonomy to Hewlett-Packard (HPE) seven years ago.

The charges filed in a court in San Francisco carry a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and include 14 counts of conspiracy and fraud.

British entrepreneur Lynch co-founded Autonomy in 1996 and served as its CEO. In 2011, the company was bought by HP, but the deal turned sour a year later when HP wrote off three-quarters of the British company’s value. It accused Lynch and his colleagues of financial mismanagement.

Lawyers for Lynch, who has always denied any wrongdoing, said in a statement on Friday that the indictment was a “travesty of justice” and he would contest the charges.

Stock market overview

European stock markets were sinking on Friday, with London’s FTSE 100 (^FTSE) down by about 0.7% in mid-morning trading. The DAX (^GDAXI) in Germany and CAC 40 (^FCHI) in France were also in negative territory, erasing much of the gains accrued this week.

US stock futures were slipping ahead of the open on Friday and WTI crude futures (CL=F) were also down to trade around $51 per barrel. 

Asian markets mostly edged up on Friday, with China’s benchmark Shanghai Composite (000001.SS) leading the way with a 0.8% gain.

Australia’s ASX All Ordinaries (^AORD) bucked the trend by dropping 1.5%.

With files from Reuters

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