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Dec 16, 2016

Bloomberg Markets - December 16, 2016: 5 Things You Need to Know to Start Your Day

 by Lorcan Roche Kelly

Get caught up on what's moving markets.

The dollar halts its Fed-driven rally, there's some end-of-year M&A, along with Brexit talks about talks about talks. Here are some of the things people in markets are watching today.

Dollar halts its rally

After yesterday's surge, the dollar is easing against most major peers this morning. The reversal will come as a relief to emerging markets in particular, as a strong greenback risked exacerbating what are already short supplies of the U.S. currency. The euro was trading 0.5 percent higher at $1.0466, with the yen at 118.03 to the dollar at 5:13 a.m. ET. There was also relief for holders of gold as the precious metal recouped some of its post-Fed losses.

Year-end M&A

Sanofi is in advanced talks to acquire Actelion Ltd., with a deal priced at about $275 a share possible by next week, according to people with knowledge of the matter. Shares in Actelion, which trades in Zurich, had jumped 9.3 percent by 5:04 a.m. ET. Meanwhile, Europe's largest insurer, Allianz SE is in discussions with Assicurazioni Generali SpA as it weighs a bid for the company's French operations, according to people familiar with the matter. Despite the obstacle posed to any proposed deal by the need for regulatory approval, shares in Generali rose as much as 5.4 percent in Milan.

Brexit talks 

It's a day ending in a y, so chatter about talks about
Brexit negotiations
continue to lead discussions in the U.K. While Theresa May struck a
lonely figure
at yesterday's EU summit, it was the House of Lords in London that had the latest piece of advice for the Prime Minister, when it warned that Brexit may put
Britons' safety at risk
. On the European side, there are some
signs of division emerging
among the numerous parties on how to proceed with negotiations, when they do finally get underway. 

Markets mixed

Overnight, the MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 0.2 percent while Japan's Topix index added 0.5 percent to erase its losses for the year. In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index was 0.2 percent lower at 5:23 a.m. ET as stocks hovered near their highest level since January. S&P 500 futures were broadly unchanged as investors continue to wait for the Dow to reach 20,000.

Trump appointments 

President-elect Donald Trump continues to make appointments, and signaled a major shift in policy toward Israel by nominating David Friedman, who opposes a two-state solution and backs Israeli settlement activity, as ambassador to that country. The PEOTUS is said to be close to picking economic commentator Larry Kudlow to be chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers.

What we've been reading 

This is what's caught our eye over the last 24 hours.