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Tuesday,18 January 2022 at 17:01

Microsoft has struck the largest deal in its history with a $69bn (£50bn) swoop for Activision despite the video game giant's ongoing battle with staff sexual harassment claims.

Microsoft swooped with Activision's shares down almost 30 per cent since a lawsuit was filed against the company in July, alleging widespread sexual harassment and gender pay issues.

This takeover far surpasses previous mega-deals for Microsoft, including $26bn on the business networking app LinkedIn and $8.5bn on the video-calling service Skype.

Activision makes the Call of Duty series, including the hugely popular free-to-play online shooter Warzone, a lockdown hit, amassing more than 30m across console and PC.

UK and European stocks were lower as global investors remain attuned to the policy direction of the U.S. Federal Reserve and the start of corporate earnings season.

U.S. stocks fell as investors monitored quarterly earnings reports from companies across all three major indexes.

Oil prices rose, passing the $87 per barrel mark as supply disruptions worsened after Yemen’s Houthi group attacked the United Arab Emirates.

Gold prices slipped, weighed down a spike in U.S. Treasury yields and a stronger dollar as investors awaited more clues about the Federal Reserve’s interest rate hike timeline from its policy meeting next week. 

Markets
At the close
FTSE 100 7,563 (-0.63%)
FTSE 250 22,652 (-0.96%)
DAX 15,772 (-1.01%)
At 16:50
Dow Jones 35,389 (-1.46%)
S&P 500 4,593 (-1.49%)
NASDAQ 14,623 (-1.81%)
Fixed Income
UK 10-YR YIELD 1.221
Exchange Rates
GBP/USD 1.358
GBP/EUR 1.198
Commodities
Gold $1,814 (-0.28%)
Brent $87.21 +0.83%
Important - No news or research item should be construed as a recommendation to trade. The inclusion of securities within this report does not necessarily imply their suitability for individual portfolios or situations in respect of which further advice should be sought. Information contained in this report has been compiled from sources believed to be reliable but is not warranted to be accurate or complete.

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