The 10 things to watch in business today

China markets slump, oil prices fall to six year low and shares in Honda down almost 5%

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The Independent Online

The 10 things that happened in business on Monday Aug 24

1. The FTSE 100 is expected to open 255 points lower –below the 6,000 point barrier for the first time since January 2013.

2. Asian markets dropped were dragged down by growing fears over the Chinese economy this morning. The Shanghai Composite fell almost 9% lower during morning trade, wiping all of its 2015 gains. Japan's Nikkei, Taiwan's Taiex and Hong Kong's Hang Seng also took a tumble.

3. Oil prices have fallen to a fresh 6.5 year low amid continued worries of high global oil supply while investors expect the demand from China to remain weak due to its growth slowdown. Brent crude has declined below $45 per barrel, while WTI crude has come down below $40.

4. Shares in Honda fell as much as 4.9% after US regulators announced an investigation into airbag failures.

5. Pub company Punch Taverns is to sell 158 mostly ‘non-core’ pubs for £53.5m to New River Retail, an investment trust focused on the UK retail sector.

6. Online gambling operator GVC Holdings claims it has made “significant progress” in bid talks with larger rival after making a larger proposal for the company last week. Bwin confirmed that discussions on “certain aspects” of the proposal were ongoing but said until these were resolved its previous unanimous recommendation of a second offer from 888 Holdings remained in place.

7. Reform of business rates would help boost UK productivity, top retailers have told the Government. A poll of retail chiefs by industry body the BRC found that 95% believed an overhaul of the rates regime would be good for the nation’s productivity.  Sir Charlie Mayfield chairman of the John Lewis Partnership and president of the British Retail Consortium (BRC) threw his weight behind calls for rates reform.

8. Australian miner Fortescue Metals, one of the world’s big four iron ore exporters posted an 88% slump in full-year net profit on the back of tumbling prices for the steel market commodity iron ore.

9. Distribution and outsourcing group Bunzl reports higher profit and revenues as it acquires more companies. Revenues at the outsourcer and distribution group rose 7% to £3.1bn in the six months to the end of June, while profit before income tax also jumped 11% to £147.1m.

10. Private equity owned by Vue buys Netherlands second biggest cinema chain – JT Bioscopen with 21 cinemas.