FirstFT: Hedge fund Elliott sues London Metal Exchange

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US hedge fund Elliott Management is suing the London Metal Exchange for more than $ 456mn over its decision to cancel nickel trades in March after an unprecedented surge in the price of the metal.

The suit filed by Florida-based Elliott on June 1 in England’s High Court of Justice, alleges that the cancellation of nickel contract trades on March 8 was “unlawful on public law grounds and / or constituted a violation of the claimants’ human rights”.

LME’s owner Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing said it would contest the claim “vigorously” and viewed it as “without merit”.

The decision to suspend trading on the 145-year-old exchange followed a 250 per cent surge in the price of nickel to a record $ 100,000 a tonne. The price surge was triggered by a short squeeze as banks and brokers rushed to close part of a large position amassed by Xiang Guangda, the billionaire founder of China’s leading stainless steel producer Tsingshan Holding Group.

Nickel was trading at $ 28,800 on the LME this morning.

Thanks for reading FirstFT Americas. Here’s the rest of today’s news – Gordon

Boris Johnson to face confidence vote The British Prime Minister will face a vote of confidence later today from his own MPs. The secret ballot was triggered after more than 54 Conservative MPs, or 15 per cent of the parliamentary party, sent letters to the chair of a backbench committee. Under party rules, Johnson will have to secure a simple majority of 180 MPs to continue in office. If he loses he must resign. To read more on British politics sign up to our Inside Politics newsletter.

2. ECB to firm up plans to ward off bond market stress The European Central Bank is set this week to strengthen its commitment to propping up vulnerable eurozone countries’ debt markets if they are hit by a sell-off, as policymakers prepare to raise rates for the first time in more than a decade.

3. Value of US and European IPOs drop 90% The value of initial public offerings in the US and Europe has tumbled this year as Russia’s war in Ukraine and rising inflation and interest rates have forced businesses to shelve plans to go public.

4. Volodymyr Zelensky meets troops in war-ravaged Donbas Ukraine’s president yesterday visited frontline troops in the far eastern and southern regions where armed forces have been fighting more than 100 days into the invasion. Russia hit railway infrastructure in Kyiv with missiles yesterday, marking the first hit to the capital since late April.

Demand falls for CFA financial analyst qualification A professional qualification known as the “hardest exam in finance” is falling out of fashion, with applicants for the chartered financial analyst program running well below pre-pandemic levels for a third consecutive year.

The day ahead

Markets outlook US shares are set to open higher, following gains in Asia and Europe. Wall Street indices closed lower on Friday and down for the week after positive jobs data reinforced expectations of aggressive US interest rate rises.

Apple’s WWDC Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference begins in San Francisco. The iPhone maker will announce updates to its software platforms and may unveil or tease new products, including a new VR headset.

Summit of Americas Heads of state from across the Americas will gather in Los Angeles for their ninth summit. The build up has been overshadowed by arguments over who should attend, who might boycott the event and what it can achieve.

D-Day anniversary It’s the 78th anniversary of the 1944 landings in Normandy, one of the largest amphibious military assaults in history, in which Allied forces began liberating mainland Europe from Nazi Germany during the second world war. South Korea, meanwhile, observes a day of remembrance to commemorate those who died during the Korean war.

What else we’re reading

Big Tech pulls out all the stops to halt ‘self-preferencing’ antitrust bill The bill would prevent large online platforms – such as Amazon and Alphabet – from using their dominance in one field to give other products an unfair advantage. If the bill goes through, it is likely to lend momentum to a wave of legislation aimed at strengthening America’s competition rules, in what could be the biggest update of the country’s antitrust rules in a generation.

There is another act to come in this market drama US stocks have pulled back from the cliff edge – the 20 per cent drop that defines a bear market. Many are wondering how this drama, the worst start of any year since 1970, will end. Ruchir Sharma’s view is that this is an intermission, and the next act will bring another step down.

How ESG investing came to a reckoning The acronym is less than two decades old, but it may already be coming to the end of its useful life. With allegations of greenwashing at the highest levels, should funds still package together environmental, social and governance factors?

‘Facebook would not be Facebook without Sheryl’ Sheryl Sandberg intended to spend just five years at Facebook when she joined in 2008 as Mark Zuckerberg’s right-hand woman. Instead, she stayed 14 years, becoming one of the most recognizable, and polarizing, figures in Silicon Valley. When she steps down as chief operating officer of Facebook, now known as Meta, this fall, she will leave behind a mixed legacy.

‘This might be a watershed for American feminism’ Amia Srinivasan, the 37-year-old philosophy professor at Oxford University, has emerged as one of today’s most innovative feminist thinkers, analyzing how women are constrained by politics, culture and technology. “Roe vs Wade is just the beginning,” she tells Henry Mance.

Television

The Wire creator David Simon revisits Baltimore in We Own This City and Stranger Things returns to Netflix for season four – here is a round-up of the best of TV and streaming this week.

Jon Bernthal as Sgt Wayne Jenkins

Jon Bernthal as Sgt Wayne Jenkins, leader of a group of brutal and corrupt police officers in Baltimore

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