Frontrunning: March 17

  • Oil Set for First Weekly Gain This Month (BBG)
  • Trump’s Budget Likely to See Major Rewrite in Congress (WSJ)
  • Trump, Germany's Merkel to hold first face-to-face meeting at White House (Reuters)
  • Tillerson Doesn’t Rule Out Preemptive Strike on North Korea (BBG)
  • Tillerson's email alias 'entirely proper': Exxon attorneys (Reuters)
  • Trump May Not Want Immigrants, but Rust Belt Mayors Do (BBG)
  • Gorsuch Sided With Illegal Immigrants in Criticism of Agencies (WSJ)
  • Bob Diamond Returns to U.K. Banking With Panmure Buy (WSJ)
  • As Many Midwest Cities Slump, Sioux Falls Soars (WSJ)
  • Euro zone lifted as ECB joins central bank trend (Reuters)
  • Nintendo to Double Production of Switch Console (WSJ)
  • Budget Cuts to Meals on Wheels Could Hurt Veterans, Raise Costs (BBG)
  • 'Anonymous' Joins Hacker Army Targeting Central Banks for Cash (BBG)
  • Berlin: Merkel's call with Chinese president not linked to her U.S. trip (Reuters)
  • China to build on disputed shoal in South China Sea (Reuters)
  • VW’s Rough Patch Spells Opportunity for Investors (WSJ)
  • Sirens blare as Japan, fearing North Korea, holds first missile drill (Reuters)
  • Tesla’s $169 Million Battery Play Is Just the Beginning (BBG)
  • Philippines tells EU lawmakers to butt out after criticism of drugs war (Reuters)
  • Iraqi forces advance into Mosul's Old City, Nuri mosque in sight (Reuters)
  • Canada Goose Vaults Reiss From Aspiring Writer to Millionaire (BBG)
  • Oklahoma lawmaker, found with boy in motel, charged with prostitution (Reuters)


Overnight Media Digest


- McDonald's Corp said it was notified by Twitter Inc that its account was compromised, after a message about President Donald Trump was posted from the burger chain's corporate Twitter account.

- France's financial crimes investigator has begun a preliminary probe into alleged wrongdoing at Airbus Group SE , the company said, amid widening accusations facing the European plane maker over potential corruption.

- Executives at Viacom Inc and its Paramount Pictures studio are working overtime to keep their $1 billion co-financing deal with two Chinese firms on course. Viacom Chief Financial Officer Wade Davis is in China meeting with the companies, Shanghai Film Group Corp and Huahua Media, according to people familiar with the matter.

- Officials at Caterpillar Inc, which has faced scrutiny from federal investigators, said it has hired former U.S. Attorney General William Barr to help assess matters related to government raids on its facilities earlier this month.

- Exxon Mobil Corp called accusations that it withheld documents relating to climate change from the New York attorney general an attempt to discredit the energy company, but disclosed a newly discovered technical issue that could mean it will soon release more of its former chairman's emails.

- Marathon Pharmaceuticals LLC has struck a deal to sell its muscular-dystrophy treatment to PTC Therapeutics Inc, one month after Marathon's $89,000 price tag for the drug spurred an outcry from patient advocates and federal lawmakers.

- 3M Co is buying a personal-safety unit from Johnson Controls Inc for about $2 billion, the companies said.

- U.S. authorities said Russian intelligence officers backed of the massive 2014 hack against Yahoo Inc, but the hacker at the center of the allegations is a 29-year-old who has eluded Western law-enforcement agencies for several years.



British Prime Minister Theresa May ruled out a second Scottish independence referendum until well after the UK leaves the EU, saying it would be unfair to ask people to vote without knowing the result of Brexit talks.

Toyota Motor Corp said it plans to invest 240 million pounds ($296.47 million) to upgrade its car plant in central England, in a sign the Japanese carmaker will keep manufacturing in Britain after the country's departure from the EU.

PricewaterhouseCoopers should pay a fine of 6 million pounds after the firm admitted failings in its audit of collapsed social housing maintenance group Connaught, the UK's Financial Reporting Council argued on Thursday.

UK petrochemicals group Ineos is in talks with BP Plc to buy the Forties pipeline system in the North Sea, one of the region's oldest and the main source for the eponymous crude used to price the global Brent crude benchmark.



- German authorities searched the offices of Jones Day, the American law firm Volkswagen hired to conduct an internal investigation of its emissions fraud, the carmaker confirmed on Thursday, raising questions about the credibility of the company's efforts to uncover wrongdoing in its ranks.

- A group of 27 former associates from the law firm Sullivan & Cromwell sent a letter on Thursday to Walter Clayton, President Trump's nominee to become chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, asking that he speak out against the White House's attempt to restrict travel to the United States by people from several predominantly Muslim countries.

- The White House economic adviser Gary Cohn is selling a significant holding in the world's largest bank, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, as he clears potential conflicts of interest to serve in his new role.

- Britain asked regulators on Thursday to investigate whether 21st Century Fox's $14.3 billion deal to take full control of the British satellite television giant Sky would give the media mogul Rupert Murdoch too much control over the country's media landscape.




** Tim Hortons Inc's top executives are setting up internal reviews of key franchisee grievances in a bid to quell discontent stemming from heavy corporate cost-cutting that some restaurant owners say harms the brand.

** The Alberta government expects to more than double its debt over the next three years and run deficits for six years, all while counting on rising oil prices and unbuilt pipelines to rescue the province's finances.

** The Conservative Party is investigating allegations of what leadership candidate Kevin O'Leary is calling massive voter fraud by at least one of his leadership challengers.


** Canada Goose Holdings Inc, known for its C$900 parkas with coyote fur-lined hoods, saw its share price open at C$23.86 on the Toronto Stock Exchange, almost 40 per cent higher than the initial offering price of C$17.

** Quebecor Inc's price target got a boost from analysts at numerous banks after the communications and media company posted strong results on Wednesday.



The Times

* Google is to be summoned before the government to explain why taxpayers are unwittingly funding extremists through advertising, The Times can reveal.

* Oil and gas giant BP is in talks to sell the North Sea's biggest pipeline to Ineos, the petrochemicals company run by Jim Ratcliffe.

The Guardian

* Toyota Motor Corp is to invest 240 million pounds into upgrading its car plant in Derbyshire in a major boost for the automotive industry after Britain's vote to leave the European Union.

* Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has accused Theresa May of sealing the fate of UK after the prime minister rejected her demand for a second Scottish independence referendum before the Brexit talks conclude.

The Telegraph

* Canary Wharf Group is mulling a sale of its stake in one of the City of London's most recognisable buildings, according to reports.

* Britain's intelligence and security organisation has dismissed claims, suggested by the White House, that it helped former U.S. president Barack Obama spy on President Donald Trump as "nonsense" in a rare public statement.

Sky News

* Former Barclays chief executive Bob Diamond is launching a joint takeover bid with Qatari investors for Panmure Gordon, one of Britain's oldest stockbrokers.

* Former British prime minister David Cameron has tried to brush aside the significance of Conservative overspending at the last general election which led to the party receiving a record 70,000 pounds fine.

The Independent

* Writing for the Independent, EU commissioner Julian King said it was vital for nations to work closely to combat international cyber attacks, terrorists and hostile states and "be prepared for whatever the future holds".

* UK Culture Secretary Karen Bradley said on Thursday that she had asked regulators to examine Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox's planned takeover of Sky.


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