Frontrunning: November 25

  • Dollar rally pauses, Italian stocks underperform (Reuters)
  • Retailers Vie for Black Friday Dollars (WSJ)
  • Holiday Price War Intensifies as Wal-Mart, Target Pursue Amazon (BBG)
  • U.S. Pushes Iran on New Measures to Fortify Nuclear Deal (WSJ)
  • Brent and WTI see small gains as end of year approaches (Reuters)
  • Turkey’s Erdogan threatens to let 3m refugees into Europe (FT)
  • Meet the man who could lead Trump's immigration crackdown (The Hill)
  • Austrian election tests support for European populism in Trump era (FT)
  • Blue-collar Democrats to party: It's still the economy, stupid (Reuters)
  • Trump’s media feud enters new era (Hill)
  • China to Issue ‘Strict Controls’ on Overseas Investment (WSJ)
  • No Credit History? No Problem. Lenders Are Looking at Your Phone Data (BBG)
  • Housing Frenzy Bedevils Beijing (WSJ)
  • U.S. Naval Patrols Threaten Sovereignty: Chinese Think Tank (BBG)
  • Iraq Commanders Weigh Tactical Shift in Mosul (WSJ)
  • Secret Service in talks to rent space in Trump Tower: report (The Hill)
  • Trump will pursue 'regional hegemony' in South China Sea: Chinese academics (Reuters)
  • Talks on Final Brexit Deal Will Have to Wait, U.K. Is Warned (BBG)
  • Passenger trains collide in Iran, at least 31 killed (Reuters)
  • Trump Is a ‘Game Changer’ for Auto Industry, Fiat CEO Says (BBG)


Overnight Media Digest


- The U.S. and its western allies are pressing Iran to take steps to sharply cut the amount of radioactive material it holds in a bid to shore up last year's nuclear deal and discourage the incoming Trump administration from abandoning it, western officials said.

- In the battle for shoppers, traditional retailers have been moving discounts earlier in November, linking their stores and websites more closely and finding ways to capitalize on the rise in mobile shopping.

- An internal debate over President-elect Donald Trump's secretary-of-state appointment has spilled into the open, with some prominent Republicans close to Trump arguing for a loyal supporter to fill the post rather than longtime critic Mitt Romney.

- As the U.S. labor market tightens and the population of undocumented immigrants shrinks, employers in industries such as hospitality, construction and agriculture are scrambling to fill jobs they say Americans don't want.

- Shares of smaller companies with higher tax rates which focus on domestic customers have been doing well since the election, as investors reevaluate in view of expected changes from President-elect Donald Trump.

- Since Trump's victory, average rates for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage have leapt to their highest level since June 2015, taking a toll on the market.

- Iraqi commanders in the fight to liberate Mosul from Islamic State want the government to change tactics and encourage residents to flee the city, freeing the military to use heavy artillery and air power.



* Britain's wage growth prospects look "dreadful", The Institute for Fiscal Studies said on Thursday, after official economic forecasts showed workers were unlikely to recoup losses suffered after the financial crisis within the next five years.

* Iceland said on Thursday it had taken legal action against Iceland Foods Ltd over the British supermarket chain's trademark registration for the word "Iceland".

* Following a wave of wildfires across Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told reporters that, "Every fire that was caused by arson, or incitement to arson, is terrorism by all accounts. And we will treat it as such".




** The Chinese government has agreed to work with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) to combat the flow of illicit fentanyl into Canada, tacitly acknowledging the deadly impact of the Asian country's sprawling chemicals industry on this nation's overdose epidemic.

** As opposition begins to mount against Toronto Mayor John Tory's new plan to impose tolls on the city's two biggest expressways, he challenged his critics to explain where they would find the billions needed for transit and other infrastructure.

** Canadian timber producers are bracing for another costly trade war with the United States after Ottawa warned that a U.S. lobby group will fire the first shot Friday - with hefty American duties on softwood lumber from Canada expected to follow in spring 2017.


** The Liberal government has brought in an unprecedented gag order that prevents 235 Canadian military personnel and federal workers from ever talking about the program, now underway, to replace the country's fighter jets.

** The Alberta government will pay three coal-fired electric generating companies C$1.36 billion ($1.01 billion) for the province's decision to close their plants early, while also potentially avoiding a lawsuit with other power companies in the province.

** There is zero chance Savanna Energy Services Corp's shareholders will accept a hostile takeover bid from a competing oilfield services company, analysts say, though the bid could affect Savanna's attempt to restructure its debts.



The Times

* Big airlines have been told to add extra time to flight schedules from Gatwick because of concerns over mounting delays at Britain's second busiest airport.

* The Scottish technology "unicorn" Skyscanner has been snapped up by China's International for 1.4 billion pounds ($1.74 billion), hours after the chancellor outlined new plans to prevent our fastest growing technology companies being sold to bigger companies.

The Guardian

* Lidl is handing out a 2.4 percent pay rise to its lowest-paid staff to put them on the new independently verified living wage.

* The government of Iceland has launched legal action against its namesake British grocery chain over the use of its name. The island of Iceland is challenging Iceland Foods' exclusive ownership of the European-wide trademark registration for the word Iceland which it said was preventing the country's companies from promoting goods and services abroad.

The Telegraph

* Baby and toddler retailer Mothercare has become the latest in a string of companies to warn that it will have to push prices up next year following the sterling slump. Mark NewtonJones, chief executive, said that he expected to raise shop prices by between 3 pence and 5 pence as a result of higher import costs.

* Legal & General has sold off its Dutch business to Chesnara, the owner of Countrywide's old pensions arm, in the latest in a wave of asset sales sweeping the industry.

Sky News

* A former Unilever executive, Harish Manwani, is in the frame to take on the chairmanship of Tata Sons, the Indian conglomerate which owns Jaguar Land Rover and the Port Talbot steel plant in south Wales.

* Domino's Pizza is to create 14,000 more UK jobs than previously planned as it ramps up its expansion ambitions despite rising pressure on its prices.

The Independent

* U.S. President-elect Donald Trump is expected to pick Wilbur Ross, the billionaire investor nicknamed "king of bankruptcy" for buying and restructuring beaten-down companies, as Secretary of Commerce, according to a senior transition official.