Frontrunning: February 22

  • Futures sharply higher as oil extends gains (Reuters)
  • Global Stocks Gain on Rising Commodities Prices, China (WSJ)
  • Pound in freefall as Boris Johnson sparks Brexit fears (Telegraph)
  • Pound Slides Most Since 2009 as Johnson Backs ‘Brexit’ Campaign (BBG)
  • Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton Seize Leads for Their Parties’ Nominations (WSJ)
  • Oil Glut Will Persist Into 2017 as IEA Sees Prices Capped (BBG)
  • Japanese Seeking a Place to Stash Cash Start Snapping Up Safes (WSJ)
  • San Bernardino victims to oppose Apple on iPhone encryption (Reuters)
  • Apple Calls for Congress to Form Committee for Privacy Issues (BBG)
  • Syrian Conflict’s Toll Pressures Allies (WSJ)
  • Gold, Oil Go Their Separate Ways (WSJ)
  • Europe’s Economy Strains as Global Slowdown Takes its Toll (BBG)
  • Japan PMI Shows Manufacturing Weakened, Dragged By Drop In Exports To China (IBT)
  • Republican Marco Rubio winning Wall Street fundraising race (Reuters)
  • That Didn't Work as Planned: Mexico's Oil Monopoly Ends, Then Oil Tanks (BBG)
  • China at the Heart of North Korea's Illicit Cash-Flow Funnel (BBG)
  • Banks Keep Cutting Currency Traders as Volatility No Job Saver (BBG)
  • Buffett's 'Woodstock of capitalism' goes global (Telegraph)
  • HSBC Drops After First Quarterly Loss in More Than 5 Years (BBG)
  • Emerging Markets Caught Between a Rock and Some Harsh Ratings (BBG)

 

Overnight Media Digest

WSJ

- Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton emerged from a weekend of voting as the clear leaders in the fight for their parties' presidential nominations, with smoother potential paths to victory than seemed likely a few weeks ago. (http://on.wsj.com/1oCNWG2)

- The persistent civil war in Syria is fueling discord inside the U.S.-led military coalition and raising concerns about the long-term costs of the conflict for Washington and its allies, said current and former U.S. officials. (http://on.wsj.com/1Rh7l8d)

- While some U.S. federal agencies have funded the development of nearly unbreakable encryption software, the others, especially in intelligence and law enforcement, fume over their inability to read protected messages when they have a court order.(http://on.wsj.com/1oCNZl9)

- Samsung Electronics Co released its latest flagship smartphone Sunday on the sidelines of the Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona, getting the backing of Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg, who said the companies are teaming up to push virtual-reality features in phones and social networking.(http://on.wsj.com/24kJqMr)

- Days before North Korea's latest nuclear-bomb test, the Obama administration secretly agreed to talks to try to formally end the Korean War, dropping a longstanding condition that Pyongyang first take steps to curtail its nuclear arsenal. (on.wsj.com/1oCqFDT)

- A 45-year-old man suspected of killing six people and injuring two others in three attacks over the weekend in western Michigan was a driver for ride-sharing company Uber Technologies (http://on.wsj.com/20NvtCf)

 

FT

Swiss commodities trading group Trafigura will ship one of the first crude oil cargoes of benchmark West Texas Intermediate in the coming weeks to Israel, as the lift of the 40-year-old U.S. crude oil export ban allows the entry of American oil into the international market. (http://on.ft.com/1L48h0s)

After investors complained that top managers' pay at HSBC Holdings Plc looked high compared to rival banks, the bank cut it to 30 percent of salaries. The change is expected to be announced on Monday. (http://on.ft.com/1LBs7LE)

According to claims in a legal battle, Standard Chartered Plc bought a $100 million "dirty debt" despite knowing that the loan had been part of a multimillion-pound embezzlement scheme and the bank used it to ask for compensation from an African government.

 

NYT

- With competition continuing to heat up in the handset market, Samsung Electronics is relying heavily on virtual reality to help distinguish its smartphones, and on Sunday announced two new Galaxy smartphones along with Gear 360, a camera for recording virtual reality videos.(http://nyti.ms/1VymTFP)

- Though Apple is resisting U.S. government demand's to unlock an iPhone, it has repeatedly cooperated with court orders for access to online services like its iCloud and people familiar with how Apple's products and services work, it is simply a matter of technology and not hypocrisy.(http://nyti.ms/1OoZn8x)

- A growing number of companies are offering their employees digital tools to help improve their eating habits in hopes of increasing productivity, reducing sick days and cutting health care costs.(http://nyti.ms/1XHaEs5)

- At the University of Surrey, the world's top tech companies, including Samsung, and researchers are collaborating to offer mobile Internet speeds more than 100 times faster than anything now available.(http://nyti.ms/1QaTbGJ)

 

Canada

THE GLOBE AND MAIL

** Fentanyl has become the leading cause of opioid deaths in Ontario for the first time since Canada's prescription painkiller crisis began more than a decade ago, preliminary figures from Ontario's Office of the Chief Coroner show. (http://bit.ly/1XHGkgU)

** The federal government wants to improve the accuracy of its no-fly list and curb "false positives" by adding addresses, birth dates and social-insurance numbers to the security data it shares with airlines. Ottawa has been stung by a spate of complaints in recent months from airline passengers who have faced problems boarding flights because their names match those of people on the list. (http://bit.ly/1XHGll4)

NATIONAL POST

** Once Saskatchewan's poster boy for economic growth, Estevan is now the canary in the coalmine, the first city to feel the full impact of the plunging price of oil. Nowhere in Saskatchewan has the slowdown in the economy been more pronounced or rapid. (http://bit.ly/1XHGRQ1)

** Mike Duffy - a sitting senator, a former close ally of a prime minister - is entering the second-last phase of his trial on 31 charges of fraud, breach of trust and bribery for behaving in a way he insists was completely normal in the Senate of Canada. (http://bit.ly/1XHHCbH)

 

Britain

The Times

Break up BT to boost the economy, says Sky boss

Jeremy Darroch, the chief executive of Sky Plc, has warned that Britain risks falling further behind other countries on broadband speeds if Ofcom does not break up BT Group and foster an era of fibre investment. Ofcom will reveal its plan to overhaul the regulation of Britain's broadband infrastructure on Thursday amid a wider debate about whether BT's consumer business should be split from Openreach, the network division that connects broadband lines. The regulator is expected to present a range of options but looks unlikely to remove the threat of a BT break-up at this stage. (http://thetim.es/1oCGLNW)

The Guardian

Sainsbury's expected to ask for more time in Home Retail Group battle

Sainsbury's is expected to ask for an extension of the Tuesday deadline to table a firm bid for the owner of Argos following the emergence of a 1.4 billion pound rival offer from South African retail group Steinhoff International Holdings . The request for more time from the Takeover Panel would come from Sainsbury's with the agreement of Argos's parent, Home Retail Group Plc, and would likely propose 18 March, the same date for Steinhoff to make a firm bid. (http://bit.ly/1UgGY5e)

Volvo recalls 59,000 cars over software glitch

Volvo is recalling 59,000 cars over faulty software that can briefly shut down the engine, including more than 7,000 in the UK. The recall affects five-cylinder diesel models S60, V60, XC60, V70 and XC70 built from mid-2015. Owners of the Swedish cars are being sent letters directly, asking them to take their vehicles to their local dealership for a 30-minute no-fee fix. The cars are being recalled across 40 markets, but those affected have been sold mainly in Sweden, Britain and Germany. (http://bit.ly/1ouxYNf)

The Telegraph

Boris Johnson backs Brexit as he hails 'once-in-a-lifetime opportunity' to vote to leave EU

Boris Johnson says Britain has a "once in a lifetime opportunity" to vote to leave the European Union as a way of securing an entirely new relationship with Brussels based around the single market. Johnson calls for Britain to be "brave" and says that "there is only one way to get the change we need - and that is to vote to go". He says that "EU history shows that they only really listen to a population when it says No". (http://bit.ly/1LA0W3A)

RBS and Lloyds forecast to cut hundreds of branches

The Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Banking Group are expected to announce further plans to cut costs when they publish their 2015 financial results this week, which analysts believe could result in the closure of more than 400 more branches in the coming years. (http://bit.ly/1PQDR0K)

Sky News

HSBC slashes Gulliver pension by 250,000 stg

The boss of HSBC Holdings Plc had his pension allowance slashed by 250,000 pounds last year in a move aimed at appeasing big investors in Europe's largest bank. HSBC will disclose on Monday that a cash sum handed to Stuart Gulliver in 2015 in lieu of a pension was cut from 625,000 pounds to 375,000 pounds. The move represents a decision by the bank to cut the awards from 50 percent of executives' base salaries to 30 percent, following shareholder complaints that they had been excessive. (http://bit.ly/1KxQD5q)

Passenger Jet Veers Off Runway In Birmingham

An aircraft with 98 passengers on board ended up on a grass verge after it went off the runway following its landing. The plane was making its way to the terminal at Birmingham Airport when it "manoeuvred" off the tarmac, said officials. (http://bit.ly/1WC3HY7)