Frontrunning: May 1


  • Record month ends in pain as biotech, small-caps, Apple tumble (BBG)
  • Japan inflation rises for first time in nearly a year (WSJ)
  • US Navy starts to accompany ships in strait where Iran seized cargo carrier (WSJ)
  • Russia may be readying for new Ukraine offensive: NATO commander (Reuters)
  • Big banks use loophole to avoid ban (WSJ)
  • China April official PMI shows factories struggling to grow (Reuters)
  • CME suspends traders for alleged Sarao-like manipulation (BBG)
  • Wal-Mart said to discuss moving regional staff to Arkansas (BBG)
  • Shrinking liquidity exposes markets to crunch (Reuters)
  • Nepal quake toll passes 6,200; $2 billion needed for reconstruction (Reuters)
  • FBI probes suspected bribery in Russian uranium sales to US (WSJ)


Overnight Media Digest


* The U.S. Navy has begun accompanying American-flagged commercial ships through the Strait of Hormuz in response to Iran's seizure of a Marshall Islands-flagged ship this week. (

* The chief regulator of U.S. credit unions passed a new rule designed to curtail how some in the industry gather new members, a move credit unions say is too tough and rival banks say is too weak. (

* Baltimore police said they have concluded their investigation into the death of Freddie Gray and turned the results over to the city's chief prosecutor. (

* Since the collapse of Comcast Corp's bid to acquire Time Warner Cable Inc, Time Warner and Charter Communications Inc have separately been in talks to acquire Newhouse family's Bright House Networks LLC, people familiar with the talks say. (

* Apollo Global Management LLC is preparing to meet with big debt investors including mutual fund managers in several cities over the next few months to ease concerns that the firm protects its investments in troubled companies at the expense of creditors, according to people familiar with the matter. (


* Tesla Motors Inc says it is making a foray into the challenge of how to use the sun's energy when it is not shining, with a fleet of battery systems for homeowners, businesses and utilities. (

* The reshaped Microsoft Corp that Satya Nadella, the new chief executive, envisions has fewer internal fiefs and is more willing to favor big bets on new technologies over protecting legacy cash cows. (

* General Motors Co said Thursday it would invest $5.4 billion in its American factories over the next three years as part of a broader effort to modernize production facilities and secure jobs. (

* The highly pathogenic H5 avian flu turned up in initial tests at five more farms in Iowa, including a commercial egg operation housing up to 5.5 million birds, Iowa's agriculture department said on Thursday. (

* Federal regulators will order operators of Boeing Co's 787 Dreamliners to shut down the plane's electrical power periodically after Boeing discovered a software error that could result in a total loss of power. (


European share prices saw their first monthly decline of the year in April, as enthusiasm for Europe's quantitative easing programme began to fade.

The Church of England, among the world's wealthiest religious institutions, has decided to bar coal and tar sands investments, in a striking victory for campaigners seeking to make fossil fuels as unpopular as tobacco.

Brussels is set to widen its front against U.S. tech companies just two weeks after the launch of its landmark competition case against Google by initiating a separate probe into a wider range of online platforms, such as Netflix, WhatsApp, Skype, Airbnb and Uber.

Labour leader Ed Miliband attempted to shore up votes in the final days of the election campaign, insisting he would rather not be prime minister than do any form of deal with the Scottish National Party. 



* Ukraine wants Canada to offer to send peacekeepers to the country's war-torn east, hoping a commitment from Ottawa would prod others, like the European Union. (

* Insolvent discounter Target Canada is feeling the fatigue of a shifting retail market. The retailer, which went into bankruptcy protection on Jan. 15, has decided to return 55 leases to their landlords, unable to find suitable bidders for them, according to a court filing this week. (

* Canada's oil sands industry is pumping record volumes of crude despite sinking profits and warnings of an extended stretch of weak prices (


* A judge has ruled that the unusually strict sealing order on a case involving allegations of leaks from the prime minister Stephen Harper's Royal Canadian Mounted Police protective detail shall stay in place. (

* The New Democratic Party has called on Ottawa to ban so-called "pay-to-pay" fees charged by Canada's big banks. NDP MP Andrew Cash said Thursday that he wants an expanded code of conduct for the banks that is not voluntary. (


The Times

* RBS losses mount amid 334 mln pounds forex charge

Royal Bank of Scotland has taken a 334 million pounds ($512.66 million) charge over foreign exchange rate rigging and said it is in "advanced settlement discussions" with regulators. (

* Willie Walsh attacks Westminster over 'lack of aviation policy'

Britain has no aviation policy and the main political parties are uninterested in the industry, according to the boss of British Airways' parent company, who let rip at Westminster after reporting a rare winter profit. (

The Guardian

* WPP boss Martin Sorrell paid 43 mln pounds, making him Britain's best-paid CEO

WPP Plc Chief Executive Martin Sorrell was paid almost 43 million pounds last year, making him by far the best- paid boss of a British public company. His pay was more than twice that of the second-best paid FTSE 100 chief executive, Ben van Beurden at Royal Dutch Shell, who received 24.2 million euros ($27.13 million). (

* Eurozone recovery hopes boosted as Spain announces GDP rise

Spain's economy is growing at its fastest pace since before the global economic crisis in 2007, official figures showed on Thursday, boosting hopes that the eurozone is bouncing back, despite the ongoing turmoil in Greece. (

The Telegraph

* Northern Rock shareholders hit out at Miliband's inaction

Shareholders in the bailed-out lender Northern Rock have accused the Labour leader Ed Miliband of "betrayal of the man in the street" over the previous government's decision not to protect some of the value of their shares. (

* Ex-staff denied compensation as European Courts rule on redundancy law

The European Court has ruled in favour of the British government over redundancy laws, preventing the cost of laying off staff for businesses that employ 20 or fewer people from escalating. (

Sky News

* Eurozone inflation boost raises economy hopes

Four months of declining prices in the euro area were declared over on Thursday, with inflation standing at an annual rate of zero this month. The EU's statistics office, Eurostat, said a rise in energy costs was the main factor behind the rate's shift after a decline of 0.1 percent was measured in March. (

* Hugo Boss investor hit by revolt over pay

Several leading shareholders in SVG Capital Plc  will oppose both last year's pay report and the company's future remuneration policy at its annual general meeting in London. (

The Independent

* Alliance Trust shareholders angry at board compromise with Elliott Advisors

Alliance Trust investors have expressed their anger at the company's eleventh-hour compromise with activist shareholder Elliott Advisors. One shareholder at the group's annual general meeting in Dundee likened its decision to appoint two of the three men the U.S. hedge fund wanted on to its board to "letting the foxes look after the henhouse". (  


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