Frontrunning: January 26

  • World stocks set for 10th straight week of gains, euro jumps (Reuters)
  • Trump Denies Reports He Tried to Fire Mueller (WSJ)
  • Trump confronts Davos on trade abuses, talks up dollar (Reuters)
  • Dollar Resumes Slide After Rallying on President’s Comments (WSJ)
  • China to name Harvard-trained Liu He as vice premier overseeing economy (Reuters)
  • Ranking Amazon’s HQ2 Short List (WSJ)
  • North Korea exported coal to South, Japan via Russia (Reuters)
  • Trump poised for clash with DOJ over classified memo (The Hill)
  • Ackman’s Pershing Square Takes Stake in Nike (WSJ)
  • WikiLeaks' Assange to Ask U.K. Court to Lift Arrest Warrant (BBG)
  • Tax Incentive Puts More Robots on Factory Floors (WSJ)
  • Dell Technologies Considering IPO, Other Options, Sources Say (BBG)
  • Spain declares Venezuela's ambassador 'persona non grata' (Reuters)
  • Tech firms let Russia probe software widely used by U.S. government (Reuters)
  • Honeywell results beat, raises 2018 profit forecast (Reuters)
  • Worthless Auto Trade-Ins Signal Riskier Loans (BBG)
  • Spain appeals nomination of Puigdemont as candidate to lead Catalonia (Reuters)


Overnight Media Digest


- European Central Bank President Mario Draghi criticized remarks by U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin that a weak dollar benefits U.S. trade, signaling a fresh economic policy rift between European officials and the Trump administration.

- U.S. President Donald Trump proposed a path to citizenship for 1.8 million undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children, if lawmakers agree to create a $25 billion fund to expand barriers along the Mexico border and make other changes to the immigration system.

- Dell Inc is considering a range of strategic alternatives that could transform the maker of PCs and data-storage devices, according to people familiar with the matter.

- The Iranian military has halted the routine harassment by its armed "fast boats" of U.S. naval vessels in the Persian Gulf, the U.S. military said, a turnabout that officials welcomed but were at a loss to explain.

- William Ackman's Pershing Square Capital Management LP has taken a passive stake in Nike Inc based on a belief in the sneaker giant's long-term growth prospects.

- Chinese internet giant Tencent Holdings Ltd is buying a piece of Skydance Media, the Hollywood company behind "Terminator."

- Wal-Mart Stores Inc is joining with Japan's largest online retailer Rakuten Inc to bolster its efforts to compete with Inc in both Asia and the U.S.



- European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi took a swipe at U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s remarks on Wednesday in Davos, saying they threatened a decades-old pact between the world’s leading economies not to target currencies.

- South Korea has hit back rapidly at U.S. tariffs on washing machines and solar panels, filing challenges and demands for compensation at the World Trade Organization.

- The London-based business of Interactive Brokers Group , an electronic brokerage firm, has been fined just over one million pounds ($1.4 million) for poor market-abuse controls and failure to report suspicious client transactions.



- Wal-Mart Stores Inc on Thursday struck a deal with Rakuten Inc to start selling digital books on its website for the first time later this year and to expand its online grocery business in Japan.

- A federal advisory committee on Thursday recommended that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration reject a bid by Philip Morris International Inc to market a smokeless tobacco stick in the United States as safer than traditional cigarettes.

- Apple Inc has taken another step toward becoming a power in the entertainment business by scooping up the rights for a TV project from Damien Chazelle, the Oscar-winning writer and director of "La La Land."

- Airbnb announced on Thursday it had named its first independent board member — Kenneth Chenault, the departing chief executive of American Express Co.




** Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde is urging First Nations across Canada to create their own child welfare legislation - something the federal government says it supports - to prevent more Indigenous children from entering foster care.

** The Canadian division of the troubled British construction giant Carillion Plc has filed for bankruptcy protection in Ontario, putting 7,500 jobs at risk and jeopardizing projects at dozens of hospitals, hotels and airports across the country.

** TransCanada Corp will need to add as much as $200 million to the cost of its $8 billion Keystone XL pipeline project after regulators in Nebraska approved an alternative to the company's preferred route through the state, according to the company's chief executive officer.

** Iron Bridge Resources Ltd announced it would form a new subsidiary called Iron Bridge Technology in an attempt to join the cryptocurrency and blockchain craze but also to arbitrage the difference between the value of bitcoin, currently valued at $11,188 per coin, and AECO gas, currently valued at $1.98 per thousand cubic feet.




The Times

- Doubts are being raised about the scale of the shortfall in the pension funds of GKN Plc, a FTSE 100 engineering giant, amid questions whether it could be used as a poison pill in the hostile takeover bid launched by industrial conglomerate Melrose Industries.

- The world's biggest drinks group Diageo Plc has revealed that sales in China have recovered from a slump caused by the government's anti-corruption drive.

The Guardian

- MPs have asked police to investigate if crimes were committed at the men-only Presidents Club dinner, attended by billionaires, politicians and businessmen, at which hired hostesses were allegedly groped and sexually harassed.

- Fracking companies must undergo financial health checks if they want to win a green light for their operations, the business secretary Greg Clark has said, as the industry faces another barrier to exploration in the UK.

The Telegraph

- Russia could cause "thousands and thousands and thousands" of deaths in Britain with an attack which would cripple the UK's infrastructure and energy supply, Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has warned.

- Chelsea are losing patience with Antonio Conte's complaints about the club's January transfer activity and will warn the Italian that he cannot continue to imply he has no input into signings when they are working hard to recruit targets specifically requested by their manager.

Sky News

- Pierre Moscovici, the man in charge of Europe's economic policy, has written off the chances of Britain's financial services sector getting its own Brexit deal.

- Mortgage approvals by British banks fell to their lowest level for almost five years last month, industry figures show.

The Independent

- Sky Plc's plan to make all its channels and content available online is being sold as a way to access new customers, people who live in flats for example.