Asian stocks were down, with the Nikkei losing nearly 3% as, despite massive stimulus from the Bank of Japan, the Japanese economy fell back into recession in the third quarter. European stock markets in the red.
Here are five things that matter for markets now:
- Japanese stocks saw their biggest drop since August on Monday as the country slipped back into recession in the third quarter. Japan's economy contracted at a pace of 1.6% in the third quarter vs. expectations of a 2.1% expansion by economists in a Reuters poll. It followed a revised 7.3% contraction in the second quarter, the biggest since an earthquake and tsunami hit the country in March 2011. A rise in sales tax came into force in April. Speculation is increasing that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will postpone a second rise in sales tax, in effect delivering fiscal stimulus to the economy.
- Investors snapped up shares in Chinese mainland companies listed in Shanghai in the first day of a link between the Shanghai stock exchange and the Hong Kong stock market. By mid-morning on Monday, around 70% of the daily 13 billion yuan ($2.12 billion) quota had been used by investors buying Chinese mainland shares. Conversely,e less than 10% of the 10.5 billion yuan daily quota for mainland China investors buying shares listed in Hong Kong had been taken up.
- Healthcare firm Allergan (AGN) is getting close to a deal under which it would be bought up by Actavis (ACT) for a total amount worth up to $65.5 billion, according to a source quoted by Reuters. This would end the pursuit of Allergan by Valeant (VRX) and William Ackman's Pershing Square Capital Management.
- Facebook (FB) is developing a new website called "Facebook at Work" that seeks to take on LinkedIn (LNKD), Google Drive (GOOGL) and Microsoft Office (MSFT), the FT reports citing sources. The new website will look like Facebook but will allow users to keep their professional profile separate from their personal one, according to the report.
- Home prices in London, which had been rising at double-digit rates, have peaked, according to some estimates. The average price of a London home is more than 9x median earnings in the British capital.