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Frontrunning: April 7

Friday, April 7, 2017 5:41
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(Before It's News)

  • U.S. fires missiles at Assad airbase; Russia denounces ‘aggression’ (Reuters)
  • Congress Supports the Airstrikes, Debates What Happens Next (WSJ)
  • Trump’s Syria Strike Sends Not-So-Subtle Warning to U.S. Rivals (BBG)
  • Russia Halts Cooperation With U.S. on Syrian Air Operations (WSJ)
  • Syria Says Strike Kills Five, Damages Air Base (WSJ)
  • Oil hits one-month high after U.S. missile strike in Syria (Reuters)
  • China fighter plane spotted on South China Sea island: think tank (Reuters)
  • Senate Expected to Confirm Gorsuch as High Court Justice (WSJ)
  • Traders Are Worried About Chinese Local Government Debt Again (BBG)
  • Jobs Report to Take Pulse of Wage Growth, Participation Rate (WSJ)
  • Nobody Is Saying Anything About How U.S. Earnings Season Will Go (BBG)
  • Libor Convictions at Risk as SFO Expert Witness Challenged (BBG)
  • Wall Street Is Making It Harder to Buy a Car (BBG)
  • U.S. stock funds’ weekly outflow largest in 2017: Lipper (Reuters)
  • Greece, Creditors Move Closer to Deal (WSJ)
  • Norway Wealth Fund Turns ‘Cautious’ on Stocks After Trump Rally (BBG)
  • Are Traders Creating a Bizarre New Feedback Loop… Feedback Loop… Feedback Loop? (WSJ)
  • Tech’s High-Stakes Arms Race: Costly Data Centers (WSJ)
  • Top investors help Deutsche Bank wrap up $8.5 billion capital hike (Reuters)
  • Oil Trader Gunvor Approached Rivals Over Possible Sale (WSJ)
  • Bank of England’s Carney calls for UK-EU bank rules pact after Brexit (Reuters)

Overnight Media Digest


– The U.S. military launched nearly 60 Tomahawk cruise missiles against a Syrian air base Friday, responding to mounting calls for a display of force in the wake of this week’s suspected chemical-weapons attack in Syria.

– President Donald Trump said Thursday he expects to secure a commitment from China to pressure North Korea to curb the nation’s nuclear ambitions, outlining a key objective of his two-day summit with President Xi Jinping of China.

– Senate Republicans voted to end the filibuster of Supreme Court nominations Thursday, setting the stage for the rapid elevation of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the high court and removing a pillar of the minority party’s power to exert influence in the chamber.

– Anglo-Dutch consumer-goods giant Unilever said it plans to divest its spreads division, combine two business units and boost shareholder returns with a higher dividend and share-buyback program.

– House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes is stepping aside from the panel’s probe of possible Russian interference in the 2016 election, citing the need to confront a congressional ethics inquiry into allegations that he improperly disclosed classified information to the public.

– Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai laid out preliminary plans to roll back the agency’s net neutrality rules in a meeting this week with trade associations.

– Aetna Inc became the second insurer this week to say it will exit the Affordable Care Act insurance marketplace in Iowa next year, in the latest sign that the industry is pulling back from the exchanges amid uncertainty about the future of the business.


* U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the Trump administration had begun efforts towards removing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad from power after the suspected gas attack in the war-torn country that killed more than 70 people earlier this week.

* Norway’s $915 billion sovereign wealth fund, the world’s largest, wants the firms it invests in to end long-term incentive schemes for chief executives.

* Twitter Inc said in a lawsuit on Thursday that it had received a demand from U.S. officials for records that could reveal the user behind an account opposed to President Donald Trump and that it was challenging the demand in court.


– Twitter Inc sued the federal government on Thursday to block the unmasking of an anonymous account that has posted messages critical of the Trump administration and has claimed to have ties to a government agency.

– Under pressure after spurning a blockbuster $143 billion takeover offer, Unilever said on Thursday that it would explore the sale of its spreads business, restructure two major divisions, review its dual legal structure and buy back $5.3 billion in stock as it seeks to cut costs and appease investors.

– Ride-hailing company Lyft has secured up to $500 million in a new round of funding that values it at $6.9 billion before the addition of new capital, according to two people briefed on the discussions, who asked to remain anonymous because the details were confidential. The privately held company may raise an additional $100 million, these people said.

– Two former Barclays Plc traders have been acquitted in their retrial on charges that they plotted to manipulate a benchmark interest rate known as Libor. On Thursday, the jury acquitted Stylianos Contogoulas of a charge of conspiracy to defraud, a day after finding Ryan Michael Reich not guilty on a conspiracy charge.

– Seven & I Holdings Co Ltd, the Japanese retail giant that owns the 7-Eleven convenience store chain, said Thursday it had agreed to buy the Sunoco chain of gas stations for $3.3 billion, accelerating its expansion in the United States.

– Robert Mueller, the former director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, is set to oversee nearly $1 billion that the airbag maker Takata Corp has agreed to pay to victims and automakers affected by its defective airbags.



** The head of Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce made his case to shareholders Thursday for the proposed $4.9 billion purchase of Chicago-based PrivateBancorp Inc, a week after hiking the offer price by 20 percent.

** The CEO of Royal Bank of Canada is urging all three levels of government to work together to solve the challenge of the Toronto area’s sky-rocketing house prices, one day after federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau called a special meeting with city leaders to discuss the problem.


** Canada’s banking regulator is prepared to move ahead with new rules to ensure the country’s bank’s have sufficient capital buffers for bad times — even if the mired international efforts of the Basel Committee remain stalled indefinitely.

** Alberta and Saskatchewan are fighting over the shrinking number of energy head offices, but Crescent Point Energy Corp CEO Scott Saxberg thinks they should be more concerned about Canadian spending — and even head offices — migrating to the United States.


The Times

– A former Barclays Plc trader, Ryan Reich, acquitted over playing a part in the Libor-rigging scandal has claimed Bank of England officials were told the rate was being inflated years before regulators began their investigations.

– The European Central Bank has quashed any speculation that it may raise interest rates before the end of the year in a series of uncompromising comments.

The Guardian

– Ryanair Holdings Plc has warned it will have to halt flights from UK for “weeks or months” if Theresa May does not seal an early bilateral Brexit deal on international aviation.

– Mothercare Plc’s chief executive has said the price of its clothing and toys would increase by 3 to 5 percent this summer following the decline in the value of the pound since the Brexit vote.

The Telegraph

– Households face the end of free banking if the low-growth, low-interest rate environment persists, according to the International Monetary Fund.

– Unilever Plc has unveiled plans to sell its margarine spreads business – including household brands such as Flora – as it reshapes itself following the audacious failed 115 billion pounds($143.39 billion) takeover attempt by US giant Kraft Heinz Co .

Sky News

– UK Government department which investigates bankrupt companies is taking legal action against a former owner of BHS as part of its probe into the retailer’s collapse.

– The Co-operative Group Ltd has written off the value of its 20 percent stake in the troubled Co-operative Bank, reporting an annual loss of 132 million pounds ($164.59 million).

The Independent

– UK companies face serious consequences if they fail to tackle digital skills deficiencies within their workforce that are hampering productivity and increasing staff workloads, according to a study by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC).

– Oil major BP Plc has slashed CEO Bob Dudley’s pay packet by 40 percent for 2016 and cut the amount that he can pocket in future, in response to shareholder protest. BP said on Thursday that Mr Dudley’s total pay for 2016 would be $11.4 million, down from the $19.4 million he got for 2015.


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