Frontrunning: December 1

  • Oil hits six-week high after OPEC deal, sterling jumps (Reuters), Oil Holds Gains After OPEC Deal (WSJ), Hangover Awaits as OPEC Celebrates (BBG)
  • Opec agreement: the winners and the losers (FT)
  • Russia’s Pledge to OPEC Will Mean ‘Herding Cats’ to Deliver Cuts (BBG)
  • Mnuchin Made Millions From Financial Crisis (WSJ); Trump reverses stance by turning to Goldman alumni for key roles (FT)
  • Treasury Pick Says ‘No Absolute Tax Cut’ for Wealthy (WSJ)
  • Death toll rises to seven in Tennessee’s Great Smoky Mountains fires (Reuters)
  • From Mexico to Vietnam: A Giant Aluminum Stockpile Is on the Move (WSJ)
  • Ukraine says missile tests will avoid Crimea, mollifying Russia (Reuters)
  • Dollar Slips Before Jobs Data as Oil Trades Near $50; Bonds Drop (BBG)
  • Fillon Pitches Bitter Economic Medicine in French Presidency Bid (WSJ)
  • German Wunderkind Turns to Plan B After Abu Dhabi Investors Walk (BBG)
  • Putin curbs anti-Western rhetoric, says wants to get on with Trump (Reuters)
  • Two Views of U.S. Jobs Data: Strong Enough for Fed But Not Trump (BBG)
  • Dollar General posts surprise drop in comparable sales (Reuters)
  • China’s Dalian Wanda Group Faces Renewed U.S. Regulatory Scrutiny (WSJ)
  • Trump ‘Villains and Heroes’ to Mingle at Annual Mercer Costume Party (BBG)
  • Thiel’s 1517 Fund Is Stalking the Next Zuckerberg (BBG)
  • Swiss upper house backs immigration bill avoiding EU quotas (Reuters)
  • Qatari news site says website blocked, blames state censorship (Reuters)


Overnight Media Digest


– Donald Trump’s nominee for Treasury secretary, who worked for Goldman Sachs and billionaire investor George Soros, made millions buying failed IndyMac. His resume appears at odds with the president-elect’s campaign rhetoric, which targeted Wall Street bankers.

– In a letter sent on Wednesday, incoming Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said the takeovers of U.S. companies by China’s Dalian Wanda Group Co and others warrant further scrutiny to determine whether they are being orchestrated by Chinese government interests – possibly leaving U.S. companies to compete on an uneven playing field. The move increases the likelihood of a re-examination of how the U.S. allows the nation to invest in American companies.

– Colombian legislators approved a peace agreement late Wednesday with the country’s communist guerrillas, ending Latin America’s longest armed conflict, which killed hundreds of thousands of people over the course of 52 years.

– OPEC representatives reached a landmark deal to reduce oil output, propelling crude prices more than 8 percent after months of wrangling and market uncertainty about the ability of the once-mighty group to strike an agreement.

– High-income households will not receive an “absolute tax cut” under a Trump tax plan, the president-elect’s new pick for Treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Wednesday, a promise that is at odds with tax proposals from Donald Trump and House Republicans.

– The federal government is on track to forgive at least $108 billion in student debt in coming years, as more and more borrowers seek help in paying down their loans, leading to lower revenues for the nation’s program to finance higher education.

– Donald Trump said he is taking steps to separate himself from his businesses “to fully focus on running the country”. But House Democrats and others questioned whether conflicts of interest would remain if his adult children take operational control of his global real-estate empire.

– The House on Wednesday passed far-reaching legislation aimed at bolstering federal funds for biomedical research and speeding up drug and medical-device approvals by the Food and Drug Administration, a goal long sought by the pharmaceutical industry.

– Malicious software disguised as legitimate apps for Android smartphones and tablets has seized control of more than one million Google accounts since August, according to research from security firm Check Point Software Technologies Ltd .

– Facebook Inc Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg put more than $100 million into her charitable fund with plans to give to groups that promote women’s rights and help grieving families.



Belgian postal company Bpost SA said it made a final offer for Dutch rival PostNL NV, sweetening the cash component of the bid by 0.376 euro to 3.201 euros per share, valuing the bid at about 2.54 billion euros in cash and stock.

Takeda Pharmaceutical Co Ltd’s negotiations to acquire Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc’s Salix stomach-drug business have stalled over price disagreements, people familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.

Invitation Homes LP, the U.S. rental homes manager owned by private equity firm Blackstone Group LP, has confidentially filed for an initial public offering that could come as soon as January and raise as much as $1.5 billion, according to a source familiar with the matter.




** A stringent examination of the state of wireless competition in four provinces is delaying BCE Inc’s $3.1-billion deal to acquire Manitoba Telecom Services Inc .

** Toronto-Dominion is raising mortgage rates again, and this time the lender is going much farther than its recent hikes.

** Protests, legal challenges over aboriginal rights and the fate of an endangered population of killer whales are among the hurdles facing Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline project.


** The agreement by OPEC members to cut production Wednesday could provide much-needed cushion for Canadian oil producers, though there are lingering doubts over whether the cartel can ultimately meet its stated targets.

** Rogers Media laid off 27 staff at its English-language magazine publications Wednesday, a day after it announced 60 layoffs at its publications in Quebec.



The Times

* The European Union (EU) will continue to need the city of London after Brexit, Bank of England Governor Mark Carney said, as he warned Brussels against seeking to damage the UK’s financial sector.

* Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc has given warning that it would be unable to handle a new financial crash after failing the latest round of Bank of England stress tests designed to assess the strength of the United Kingdom’s largest lenders.

The Guardian

* Speaking as he launched a new product that Philip Morris International Inc claims is less harmful than traditional smoking, Chief Executive Officer André Calantzopoulos predicted a “phase-out period” for cigarettes.

* Labour MPs turned out in force on Wednesday to help defeat a parliamentary motion 439-70 that called for Tony Blair to be held to account for allegedly misleading parliament over the Iraq war.

The Telegraph

* A former business analyst at Logica and a man who was his neighbour have pleaded guilty to three counts of insider dealing during the IT consultancy’s 1.7 billion pounds ($2.13 billion) takeover by rival CGI Group Inc four years ago.

* Food giant Nestle SA claims it has found a method to almost halve the amount of sugar in its chocolate.

Sky News

* Ford Motor Co Chief Executive Officer Mark Fields said it is important that manufacturers in the United Kingdom are treated equally as Brexit looms.

* The most senior British member of the European Court of Justice (ECJ), Eleanor Sharpston, has told Sky News that the ECJ has “ultimate authority” over Article 50, the formal process to divorce the EU.

The Independent

* The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries has reached a deal amongst all 14 members to curtail oil supply for the first time in eight years.

* Claims that Boris Johnson told at least four EU ambassadors that he supports freedom of movement have been dismissed as a “total lie” by sources close to the foreign secretary.


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