Frontrunning: February 17

  • Futures rise as oil gains hold steady (Reuters)
  • China promises economic stability as G20, parliament loom (Reuters)
  • Obama scolds Senate Republicans for Supreme Court threat (Reuters)
  • China Deploys Missiles on Disputed South China Sea Island (WSJ)
  • China Ramps Up Rhetoric, Plans New Steps to Juice Up Economy (BBG)
  • China Loses Control of the Economic Story Line (WSJ)
  • Banks are still the weak links in the economic chain (FT)
  • The Great Iron-Ore Flood Claims Anglo as Biggest Victim (BBG)
  • Apple CEO opposes court order to help FBI unlock iPhone (Reuters)
  • Ferrari Jumps After Soros Emerges Among Top 10 Shareholders (BBG)
  • Wall Street Girds for Commercial-Property Debt It Must Invest In (BBG)
  • The eurozone can’t survive another banking crisis (MW)
  • Glencore Wins Vote of Confidence After Signing Refinancing (BBG)
  • Japan Shelves Plan to Let Pension Fund Directly Invest in Stocks (WSJ)
  • Japan automaker unions' underwhelming pay demands challenge Abenomics (Reuters)
  • Negative rate not having intended effect (Nikkei)
  • Minimum Wage Hikes Aren't All Bad News for Wal-Mart (BBG)
  • Lost in translation: Wal-Mart stumbles hard in Brazil (Reuters)
  • Slowing Trade Flows Jolt Asia’s Exporting Nations (WSJ)
  • Greenlight Capital Exited Micron Stake in Fourth Quarter (WSJ)
  • Can a Reality TV Show Help Cut America's Power Bill? (BBG)
  • Big Media’s Fortunes Wane as Cable Operators Prosper (WSJ)


Overnight Media Digest


- President Barack Obama said he seeks an 'indisputably' qualified successor to Justice Antonin Scalia, while administration officials indicated he wants a Supreme Court nominee who can attract some Republican support. (

- Valuations of companies such as Viacom and Walt Disney are under pressure, as cable operators including Comcast and Cablevision hold steady amid cord-cutting fears. (

- Saudi Arabia and Russia said they would cap production if major producers followed suit, but oil prices fell as Iran balked and investors looked for more concrete action to reduce a global glut. (

- The Dodd-Frank Act didn't go far enough; more needs to be done to end the risks posed by banks that have grown too big to fail, Minneapolis Fed chief Neel Kashkari said. (

- China has positioned surface-to-air missiles on a disputed island in the South China Sea in one of the most aggressive military steps so far by Beijing in a burgeoning standoff with Washington. (



Anglo American said on Tuesday it plans to sell its iron ore, coal and nickel units as part of a sweeping strategic overhaul to cope with a commodities rout that has triggered a fight for survival even among heavyweight miners.

Daimler AG Chief Executive Dieter Zetsche's contract was extended by three years on Tuesday, setting the stage for a younger generation of automotive managers to succeed him.

British lender Metro Bank Plc <IPO-METRO.L> is cutting the price of its initial public offering by about 17 percent, following the recent sell-off across the banking sector, investors in the UK bank were told on Tuesday night.



- Saudi Arabia, Russia, Venezuela and Qatar agreed to hold production steady, a move intended to bolster energy prices. But they will proceed only if others join. The plan indicates how deeply prices have fallen, as Russia and Saudi Arabia have previously resisted tempering production.(

- A newly declassified report by the National Security Agency's inspector general suggests that the government is receiving far less data from Americans' international Internet communications than privacy advocates have long suspected. (

- European Union authorities on Tuesday stepped up efforts to reduce reliance on Russian natural gas as the two sides face off over a litany of geopolitical disputes, from the conflict in Ukraine to the civil war in Syria. (

- Teams of government lawyers, the FBI and Homeland Security are trying to recover assets the United States says were stolen by foreign officials. (




** Investment by automakers in Canada doubled last year from 2014 levels, but the country failed to win any of the three new assembly plants that were announced for North America. (

** Finance Minister Bill Morneau says balancing the books is now a long-term goal, providing further evidence that the Liberal government is backing away from its pledge to erase the deficit before the next election. (

** The British Columbia government used its balanced budget on Tuesday as leverage to wrestle with the country's hottest real estate market, introducing tax incentives designed to spur housing construction. (


** After a bizarre appointment snafu that blew up a normally secretive process, Ontario finally has a permanent ombudsman in Paul Dube, who will formally assume the role on April 1. (

** Hundreds of maple syrup producers braved snow and freezing rain in Quebec City on Tuesday to march on the National Assembly in protest against a new government report that they say, if implemented, will ruin their industry. (



The Times

- Vodafone Group Plc's decision to go double Dutch by combining its mobile network in the Netherlands with Liberty Global's cable network Ziggo has prompted fevered speculation that it could be a forerunner for a full merger. (

- Politicians outraged by Mike Ashley's refusal to appear before parliament may get the chance to grill the founder of Sports Direct International Plc over the running of his sports fashion company. The entrepreneur is reported to have offered to meet MPs and answer any questions about working conditions at the retailer's headquarters and giant warehouse facility. (

The Guardian

- The price of an average home in Britain rose 18,000 pounds ($25,729.20) last year, according to government figures that also revealed sharp regional differences in the housing market. The 6.7 percent pace of growth was slower than the 9 percent rise recorded in 2014, but far exceeded increases in wages or general inflation. (

The Telegraph

- UK inflation crept up by 0.3 percent in the year to January, from 0.2 percent in December, rising for a third month in a row. But economists said cuts to energy bills and the recent oil price rout were likely to keep inflation "close to zero" in the coming months. (

- India has warned Vodafone Group Plc it may seize the telecoms giant's assets in the country if it does not pay a disputed 142 billion rupees ($2.07 billion) tax bill. Vodafone received a letter from the deputy commissioner of income tax in India earlier this month that warned of potential action in the event of non-payment. (

Sky News

- Documents sent to shareholders disclose that the value of B-shares allocated to roughly 70 current and former Metro Bank executives will convert into ordinary shares worth just over 18 million pounds after market turmoil forced bosses to slash the price of the lender's forthcoming listing. (

- French energy giant EDF will extend the life of four of its eight UK nuclear power plants - safeguarding 3,000 jobs in the process. Heysham 1 and Hartlepool will continue to generate power for an additional five years - up until 2024, while Heysham 2 and Torness will see their life extended by seven years to 2030. (

The Independent

- Ikea has been accused of avoiding up to 1 billion euros ($1.11 billion) in corporate taxes between 2009 and 2014, according to a report by Green Party ministers in the European Parliament. (