A South Korean court has sentenced Samsung vice-chairman Lee Jae-yong to five years in prison. A case that has gripped South Korea – Samsung is the country's biggest company and Jae-yong is the country's most influential businessman. More detail below.
Meanwhile central bankers Janet Yellen, US Fed, and Mario Draghi, European Central Bank, deliver set speeches later today on the economic and structural forces that shape global currency movements (background: a a significantly weakened dollar and a significantly strengthened euro). Prepare to be underwhelmed.
Though Draghi can switch tone last minute, most are not expecting drama. Watch though for nuance: does Mario Draghi think the euro’s strength is becoming a concern, particularly on tapering – QE, or cheap cash – and the inflation front?
Yellen is the only major central banker to have hiked rates. At 7am sterling was trading at $1.2812 while the euro was worth $1.1794. Overnight in Asia Japanese stocks lifted slightly, helped by core consumer inflation lifting in July by 0.5%. The highest level since spring 2015.
- UK FTSE 100 7,407.06 +0.33%
- Dow 21,783.40 -0.13%
- S&P 500 2,438.97 -0.21%
- Nasdaq 6,271.33 -0.11%
- Nikkei 225 19,463.40 +0.56%
- DAX 12,180.083 +0.05%
- CAC 40 5,113.13 -0.04%
- Gold 1,291.60 -0.02%
- Oil WTI 47.83 +0.82%
Samsung billionaire heir handed prison term
Over in South Korea Lee Jae-yong, Samsung’s vice chairman, has been found guilty by a court of embezzlement and bribery though it is not clear whether the Samsung exec will go to prison. His lawyer says he will appeal.
Lee Jae-yong, 49, was accused on multiple fronts: shifting and hiding assets overseas as well as embezzlement. The Samsung exec claimed that much of the payments had been signed off without his direct consent.
Samsung saw a record $9.9bn profit in its last quarter. It recently overtook Intel as the world's biggest chip manufacturer. There was also the successful roll-out of its latest Galaxy S8 flagship.