Frontrunning: April 13

  • Trump comments trigger U.S. dollar, bond yield slide (Reuters)
  • N. Korea Nuclear Test Could Come Saturday or Sooner, Sources Say (VoA)
  • Fear Is Creeping Back Into Markets (BBG)
  • Trump Liking Yellen Ignites Prospects for Fed Policy Continuity (BBG)
  • CEOs gaining power in Trump’s White House (Politico)
  • Indexes Beat Stock Pickers Even Over 15 Years (WSJ)
  • PBOC Resumes Reverse-Repo Cash Injections After 13-Day Pause (BBG)
  • Saudi Arabia Raises $9 Billion in First International Sukuk Issuance (WSJ)
  • Pay now, care later (Reuters)
  • Goldman Points to Developed Markets as Highest Geopolitical Risk (BBG)
  • Tesla’s Musk tells disgruntled shareholders: Buy Ford (Reuters)
  • The Coming Profit Squeeze (WSJ)
  • Shale, Not Stock, Fuels the Wealthiest U.S. County (BBG)
  • China’s Split With Russia on Syria Signals Warmer Xi-Trump Ties (BBG)
  • Seeking Online Stardom? First Buy a New Face (WSJ)
  • Brooklyn Home Sales Jump With Listings Near a Record Low (BBG)
  • U.S. tax reform debate moves away from Ryan blueprint (Reuters)


Overnight Media Digest


* Real wages in Britain grew at the slowest rate since 2014 during the three months ending in February, according to Labour market data published by the Office for National Statistics.

* Britain’s largest natural gas storage site will not be available for new supplies for about another year. Centrica Plc , the owner of British Gas, said on Wednesday that its Rough storage facility at Yorkshire coast would not be receiving new gas injections until May 2018 because of concerns about the integrity of its aging wells.

* Britain’s broadband internet companies must hugely raise the bar of their customer service, the regulator Ofcom has warned, after revealing that some providers had deliberately made their service worse in 2016.



– United Airlines struggled on Wednesday to respond to a third day of public outrage over widely shared videos of a passenger being dragged off an airplane, offering a refund to every passenger on the flight and promising to no longer have the police remove passengers from planes that are too full.

– Bill O’Reilly left Fox News this week for a long-planned vacation to Italy and the Vatican, with his fate in the hands of a Murdoch family calculating the risks and rewards of keeping him on or forcing him out of the network.

– The Daily Mail apologized to Melania Trump on Wednesday and agreed to pay damages to settle two lawsuits she had filed over an article last year asserting that the professional modeling agency she worked for in the 1990s had also been an escort service.

– The accounting firm KPMG has fired six employees, including the head of its audit practice in the United States, after it learned they were given improper warnings ahead of planned audit inspections by its regulator, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board.




** BlackBerry Ltd’s shares rose 15 per cent on Wednesday after a surprise announcement that it had won back hundreds of millions in patent royalty payments in an arbitrated settlement with semiconductor giant Qualcomm Inc. The windfall will be added to the company’s C$1.2 billion ($906.62 million) in cash.

** The Ontario Securities Commission has accused fund manager Ben Cheng and three other Bay Street players of securities-law violations in connection with a leaked takeover offer in 2014 by online gambling company Amaya Inc.

** A U.S. coal mine and health-care executive, Tom Clarke, who bid for U.S. Steel Canada Inc is trying to make a bid for Essar Steel Algoma Inc with the backing of the United Steelworkers union.

** Canada is warning the Trump administration that a Buy American requirement for new oil and gas pipelines would break international trade law and hurt business on both sides of the border.


** The Alberta Investment Management Corp is demanding local drilling company Savanna Energy Services Corp to immediately repay C$111 million ($83.86 million) in loans and fees, which is pressuring the company to refinance its debt while in the middle of a takeover.

** Cheesecake Factory Inc announced on Wednesday that it would open its first restaurant north of the border this fall, at Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre.

** Northern Dynasty Mineral Ltd stock jumped as much as 32 percent on Wednesday after the company received a crucial permit from the Alaska government that could see its Pebble project clear a 10-year-long development hurdle.

** Canadian oilfield services companies, which bore the brunt of the two-year downturn in crude oil prices, are reporting higher prices, buoyant business activity and robust bookings for the remainder of the year.


The Times

KPMG has fired its top auditor in United States and four other partners for “unethical behaviour” in connection with leaked information that gave them advance warning of the audits that a U.S. watchdog was about to inspect.

More than a quarter of British employers have experienced a fall in job applications from European Union workers since last June’s Brexit referendum, according to Reed, the jobs website.

The Guardian

The average number of homes for sale by each estate agent has fallen to a record low, with agents in parts of the country gloomier than at any time since the financial crash, according to a report by the surveyor’s professional body.

The government is under mounting pressure to take strong action on rising energy bills after one of the “big six” suppliers imposed its second price hike this year on 1.5 million customers.

The Telegraph

The European Commission has warned that a 750 million pound ($941.18 million) plan that will allow Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc to abandon a troublesome sale of its Williams & Glyn business could eventually deal a 1.5 billion pound hit to the taxpayer-backed lender.

Dulux owner Akzo Nobel NV has reported one of its leading investors to financial regulators as the fallout continues over U.S. rival PPG Industries Inc’s failed attempts to take over the Dutch giant.

Sky News

A 1 billion-pound-plus Chinese takeover of Doncasters Group, one of the UK’s oldest engineering firms, has been called off amid U.S. security concerns over the company’s defence operations.

Britain’s biggest care home operator, Four Seasons Health Care, is preparing to sell its mental health division as part of a sweeping restructuring aimed at securing the company’s long-term financial security.

The Independent

International flight bookings to the UK have increased by 49 percent for the Easter holiday period, which falls between 31 March and 14 April, compared to the same holiday period last year, according to data by eDreams ODIGEO, one of Europe’s largest e-commerce businesses and owner of online travel agency eDreams.

Source: ZeroHedge