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UPDATE 2-Italian yields jump as surprise 20-year bond sale shakes up market

* Italian yields rise, strong demand for 20-yr issue

* Deal comes as EU discusses disciplinary action on Rome

* Spain gets 20 blns euros of interest for 10-yr

* German yields dip as U.S.-China trade tensions persist

* Euro zone periphery govt bond yields tmsnrt.rs/2ii2Bqr (Updates prices, adds move in key inflation gauge)

By Abhinav Ramnarayan

LONDON, June 12 ( ) – Italy’s long-dated government bond yields rose sharply on Wednesday after the country launched a surprise 20-year bond sale to take advantage of hefty demand for euro zone debt.

Italy has received orders worth more than 23.5 billion euros for the new bond, a lead manager told .

The final yield on the new March 2040 issue h上海夜生活论坛as been set at 12 basis points over the outstanding March 2038 benchmark, down from an initial guidance of around 16 basis points.

Demand for the sale was strong even though the European Union is expected to take disciplinary action against Rome over the country’s growing debt.

“Right now, the carry and the ECB monetary easing is cancelling out the negative headlines,” said DZ Bank strategist Daniel Lenz. The term “carry” refers to a trade where investors take advantage of low short-dated borrowing costs to pick up some yield by buying longer-dated debt.

Italy’s 10-year bond yield was up 10 basis points at 2.41%, with 20- and 30-year yields rising a similar amount.

Yields usually rise ahead of a sale, with investors selling outstanding debt to make space for the new supply.

But the move comes after a strong rally in recent days, which saw Italy’s 10-year yield drop 30 bps in the first week of June to a one-year low of 2.28%.

Spain also hit bond markets on Wednesday, and recorded over 31 billion euros of demand for 10-year debt even though the country’s debt is trading at record low yields.

The country was set to price a 6 billion euro bond issue at 33 basis points over mid-swaps, according to a lead manager, a level that suggests a final yield of just above 0.60% according to calculations.

DZ Bank’s Lenz said the carry was the predominant factor driving demand for Spanish bonds. “Spanish yields have hit record lows, but there is still a positive carry and it does not include the risk you have on Italy,” he said.

Spain usually launches a 10-year bond sale around this time of the year, so the market reaction was muted, with the country’s benchmark 10-year yield unchanged at 0.58%.

Elsewhere, German 10-year bond yields, the benchmark for the bloc, dropped to minus 0.24%, close to record lows hit last week, as concerns about the global economy grow in the shadow of a trade dispute between its two largest economies.

U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday defended the use of tariffs as part of his trade strategy while China vowed a tough response if the United States insists on escalating trade tensions amid ongoing negotiations.

German and U.S. bond yields fell further after soft U.S. inflation data boosted expectations for U.S. rate cuts.

In the euro zone, a key market measure of long-term inflation expectations fell to a new record low below 1.18% . ($1 = 0.8831 euros)

At U.N., U.S. tells Russia it’s isolating itself by backing Assad

UNITED NATIONS ( ) – The United States told Russia at the United Nations on Wednesday that it is isolating itself by continuing to support Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, while Britain said its scientists found sarin was used in a deadly toxic gas attack on Syrian civilians last week.

Russia is set to block a push by Western powers at the United Nations later on Wednesday to bolster support for international inquiries into the April 4 toxic gas attack in Syria. It will be Moscow’s eighth veto in support of the Assad government since the Syrian war began six years ago.

“To my colleagues from Russia – you are isolating yourselves from the international community every time one of Assad’s planes drop another barrel bomb on civilians and every time Assad tries to starve another community to death,” U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, told the U.N. Security Council.

During a heated Security Council meeting, Russia’s deputy U.N. envoy Vladimir Safronkov told the 15-member body that Western countries were wrong to blame Assad for the attack in the town of Khan Sheikhoun.

“I’m amazed that this was the conclusion. No one has yet visited the site of the crime. How do you know that?” he said.

The attack prompted the United States to strike a Syrian air base with cruise missiles and worsened relations between the United States and Russia.

President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday trust had eroded between the two countries under President Donald Trump, as Moscow delivered an unusually hostile reception to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in a face-off over Syria.

Britain’s U.N. Ambassador Matthew Rycroft told the Security Council that samples taken from the site of the gas attack, in a rebel-held area of northern Syria, have tested positive for the nerve gas sarin.

He accused Russia of siding with “a murderous, barbaric criminal, rather than with their international peers.”

Safronkov, who demanded Rycroft look at him while he was speaking, responded: “I cannot accept that you insult Russia.”

Haley also accused Iran of being “Assad’s chief accomplice in the regime’s horrific acts,” adding: “Iran is dumping fuel on the flames of this war in Syria so it can expand its own reach.”

Western powers blame the gas attack, which killed scores of civilians – many of them children – on Assad’s forces. Syria’s government has denied responsibility for the attack, which prompted a U.S. strike on a Syrian air base.

Syrian U.N. Ambassador Bashar Ja’afari said Syria had sent dozens of letters to the Security Council, some detailing “the smuggling of sarin from Libya through Turkey on a civilian air plane by using a Syrian citizen.”

“Two litres of sarin were transported from Libya through Turkey to terrorist groups in Syria,” he said, adding that the government does “not have these weapons.”

U.N. Syria mediator Staffan de Mistura warned the Security Council on Wednesday that fragile progress in peace talks was now “in grave danger.”

(This上海夜生活 version of the story has been refiled to fix garbled words in first paragraph)

UK PM frontrunner fends off court case over Brexit campaign bus claim

LONDON ( ) – Judges at London’s High Court on Friday threw out an attempt to prosecute Boris Johnson, the frontrunner to succeed Theresa May as prime minister, for allegedly lying about the financial benefits of Brexit during the 2016 EU referendum campaign.

Last week, a magistrate agreed to issue summonses for Johnson to face charges of misconduct in public office over a claim emblazoned on his bright red “Leave” campaign bus that Britain would be 350 million pounds ($446 million) a week better off outside the EU.

Opponents had argued that the slogan was deliberately misleading and it became symbolic of the divisions caused by the referendum, which saw Britons vote 52-48% to leave the European Union.

Marcus Ball, 29, who described himself as a social enterprise founder, brought the private prosecution against Johnson in February which led to last week’s decision.

But at a judicial review hearing on Friday at the High Court, Johnson’s lawyer Adrian Darbishire said the magistrate had either erred in law or provided the wrong legal test in allowing the case to go ahead.

Darbishire said the only rational conclusion was that the case was politically motivated and therefore without merit.

The High Court judges agreed the summonses should be quashed, saying they would give their reasons at a later date.

The flamboyant Johnson, who did not attend Friday’s hearing, is the favorite among Conservative lawmakers hoping to replace May as party leader and therefore prime minister.

The case could potentially have damaged his bid to replace May, who stepped down as Conservative leader on Friday although she will remain prime minister until a successor is selected.

“POLITICAL PROSECUTION”

Friday’s challenge, brought in the former foreign minister’s full name – Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson – examined whether a politician could be accused of criminal misconduct over statements made during political campaigning.

“Standing on the hustings is not the exercise of state power, and doing something naughty on the hustings is not an abuse of state power,” said Darbishire.

He said it was not for the police or juries to stray into the sphere of political debate and that it was for the electorate to decide on the truth of claims.

Ball’s overt opposition to Brexit and desire to h上海夜生活ave it stopped also showed the case had no legal merit, Darbishire added. “This is realistically, plainly speaking, a political prosecution,” he said.

After the verdict, Ball, who has raised more than 350,000 pounds through crowd-funding to pursue the prosecution, said he would mull whether to appeal, saying his case was not about stopping Brexit.

“I will not give up until I believe that all possible options are exhausted,” he said.

“If you are an elected representative and you are talking about people’s money … it’s not correct for a member of parliament to lie to everybody about that.”

As for the 350 million claim itself, Johnson’s lawyers said he denied acting dishonestly in any way and the figure remained contentious.

“It is still being adhered to today,” Darbishire said.

($1 = 0.7842 pounds)

Hudson’s Bay chairman puts together $1.3 billion offer for retailer

( ) – Hudson’s Bay Co Executive Chairman Richard Baker said on Monday he had teamed up with other shareholders to offer to take the struggling Canadian department store operator private in a C$1.74 billion ($1.3 billion) cash deal.

The proposal comes as Hudson’s Bay has been shuttering its underperforming shops to cut costs as it competes with discount direct-to-consumer brands and e-commerce behemoths such as Amazon.com Inc.

It opens up Baker to inv上海夜生活论坛estor scrutiny, given that the buyout consortium he put together is made up of shareholders who already own 57% of the company. Hudson’s Bay said it had set up an independent board committee to evaluate the offer, which is subject to a vote by a majority of shareholders not affiliated with Baker’s bid.

“If you don’t go through these processes, you are really vulnerable to a lawsuit alleging that you shoved this down their throats,” said Eric Talley, co-director of the Millstein Center for Global Markets and Corporate Ownership at Columbia Law School in New York.

Shares of Hudson’s Bay rose 45% to close at C$9.25, slightly below the C$9.45 that shareholders will receive under the proposed deal. The offer represents a 48% premium to Friday’s closing share price. At its peak in 2015, the retailer was worth almost $30 per share.

Hudson’s Bay, which owns the Saks Fifth Avenue and Lord & Taylor retail chains, is the latest challenged retailer to consider going private. Last year, members of Nordstrom Inc’s founding family offered $8.4 billion for the company, but abandoned the bid once that company’s special board committee rejected it.

“While we continue to believe in Hudson Bay’s long-term potential, it has become clear that the significant challenges, risks and uncertainties facing Hudson Bay in the rapidly evolving retail environment are best addressed in a private market setting,” Baker said in a statement.

Baker’s buyout consortium includes Rhone Capital, WeWork Property Advisors, Abu Dhabi Investment Council and Abrams Capital Management.

Hudson’s Bay had said last month it was pursuing strategic alternatives such as a sale or merger for its department store Lord & Taylor.

Management has resisted calls from activist investor Jonathan Litt’s Land and Buildings Investment Management LLC to also sell Saks Fifth Avenue. A source familiar with Land & Buildings’ thinking said the hedge fund considers Baker’s offer significantly inadequate.

Hudson’s Bay also said on Monday it would sell its stake in its real estate joint venture in Germany to Signa Retail Holdings in a deal valued at C$1.5 billion.

Proceeds from its Signa deal will be used to reduce Hudson’s Bay’s debt, making a take-private deal more easy to finance.

Hudson’s Bay real estate could be worth as much as $6.4 billion or $35.24 per share, the company said in 2017. However, that figure included the Lord & Taylor flagship store, which the company sold to WeWork and partner Rhône Capital for $850 million in October 2017, and a Vancouver property owned by the company’s RioCan joint venture, since sold for $675 million.

Land and Buildings and other shareholders have criticized Hudson’s Bay for not doing enough to capitalize on the value of its properties.

EVALUATING OFFER

Investment bank JPMorgan Chase & Co worked with Hudson’s Bay on its deal to sell its stake in its German real estate joint venture, and will also advise the retailer’s special board committee in evaluating Baker’s proposed deal.

The special board committee will oversee the preparation of a formal assessment of the offer by an additional independent valuator, Hudson’s Bay said. Toronto-Dominion Bank is in line to win that role, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Hudson’s Bay, North America’s oldest company, was taken over in 2008 by Richard Baker’s private equity firm NRDC Equity Partners, which already owned Lord & Taylor.

Baker took the company public in 2012, following up with a string of acquisitions, including Saks Fifth Avenue for $2.9 billion, Gilt Groupe for $250 million, and German department store chain Galeria Kaufhof from Metro Group for $3.2 billion.

To bolster the company’s finances while retaining his influence over Hudson’s Bay, Baker sold stakes in the firm in separate transactions to other investors who aligned with him in the board room.

Other department store retailers including Sears Holdings Corp and J C Penney Co Inc have faced financial troubles as more consumers buy online.

Sears Chairman Edward Lampert also orchestrated deals to keep the retailer alive, before it filed for bankruptcy last year. He also became the company’s biggest creditor.

Mexico central bank chief flags concern over ratings setbacks

MEXICO CITY ( ) – Mexico’s government must address concerns flagged by rating agencies over the sustainability of the country’s finances following debt downgrades last week, Mexican Central Bank Governor Alejandro Diaz de Leon said on Tuesday.

Fitch last week cut Mexico’s sovereign credit rating and then became the first major ratings agency to downgrade the debt of state oil company Pemex to “junk” status, in a major setback for President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.

Fellow ratings agency Moody’s also lowered its outlook for Mexico to negative, adding to pressure on the peso.

Speaking at a banking conference in Mexico City, Diaz de Leon said the ratings developments were a risk factor for the Mexican economy that needed to be tackled.

“This has happened at times in the past, and it was dealt with, and let’s hope this is the case (now) and that it’s not a major worry going forward,” Diaz de Leon said.

The central bank has repeatedly raised concerns about the risks posed to Mexico’s finances by Pemex, which has financial debts of around $106 billion.

Lopez Obrador has vowed to revive the struggling company, pumping extra cash into Pemex to shore it up.

Mexico’s economy contracted by 0.2% quarter-on-quarter in the first three months of the year, and Diaz de Leon said the economic outlook for the coming months was uncertain.

He noted that investment had been sluggish this year but said remittances from abroad were helping to prop up private consumption.

Look上海夜网ing ahead, Diaz de Leon said attracting more investment and improving productivity were among the principal challenges facing Mexico’s policymakers.

Take Five: Trade winds – World markets themes for the week ahead

( ) – Following are five big themes likely to dominate thinking of investors and traders in the coming week and the stories related to them.

1/WATCH THOSE CURVES

Moody’s warned this week that a trade war could tip the U.S. economy into recession next year. And U.S. President Donald Trump’s latest decision to hike tariff rates on Chinese goods has possibly brought that risk a bit closer. At least the bond market seems to think so — the yield on three-month U.S. Treasury bills is on the cusp of rising above 10-year yields.

A sustained curve inversion, as such a shift is called, would be seen as a sure-fire recession signal; in a normally growing economy, longer-dated borrowing costs are higher than short-term rates.

But the curve has sent a false alarm at least once before and some believe it is doing so again, above all because huge Fed purchases have depressed longer yields. Huge issuance of short-term debt is also likely to have contributed to the flattening.

Which brings us to another question. Given 2019 net borrowing will top $1 trillion, might Washington find itself scrambling to find buyers? Some dismal bond auctions recently have raised the question whether China is paring Treasury purchases — due to the escalating trade spat. Simmering tensions will keep the issue alive.

2/ TALK, TWEET, REPEAT

Industrial output, retail sales, house prices: a batch of data due in coming days was supposed to give investors an idea about how China’s economy was faring against a backdrop of 10% U.S. tariffs and authorities’ stimulus policies.

Fast forward and the stakes have been raised — quite a lot. On Friday, Washington hiked tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods to 25% and Trump, reverting to Twitter, has threatened more. Beijing warned it would retaliate, though it didn’t say how.

Negotiations to try to end a 10-month-old trade war between the world’s biggest economies are continuing, and markets have taken heart from China’s decision to stick with the talks. Another factor is China’s central bank, which assured markets it had “rich” policy tools to cope with external uncertainties. Weak economic data can only cement that resolve.

3/OIL SLICK

The world economy seems to be shifting into a lower gear but Brent crude futures are holding above $70 a barrel, up 30% this year. Barclays sees a climb to $74-$75 in the coming year.

In the short-term too, oil looks well-supported. On the demand side, Chinese imports hit a record in April, possibly due to economic stimulus measures taking effect. And supply has been curtailed by a pipeline contamination issue in Russia and U.S. sanctions that have cut shipments from Venezuela and Iran.

Venezuelan exports have dropped 40% since January and Iran’s exports have more than halved, to one million barrels per day or less. They are expected to slide further in May.

None of these issues will be resolved anytime soon. Iran for one is threatening to retaliate against U.S. sanctions by breaching a nuclear pact signed in 2015. Sanctions have failed to dislodge Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro but they are likely to cut oil exports further in May, after the expiry of an April 28 deadline for U.S. firms to complete existing deals.

4/NO STICKER SHOCK

Few U.S. data series have been as choppy in recent months as retail sales. December’s drop in core sales was the largest in nearly two decades — only to be followed by an equally large swing to the upside in January. Demand for big-ticket items like cars then pushed the March total to the highest in 18 months.

Consumer resilience, emboldened by a strong job market, was a key pillar of support for the U.S. economy in the first quarter. So the April reading will show if that willingness to spend continues into Q2.

estimates point to the first back-to-back rise in retail sales since November. Headline sales are seen up 0.2%.

The report comes soon after Trump imposed new tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese imports, but it is far too soon to see a meaningful impact from the trade war between the world’s two largest economies. Shoppers will probably not start reacting to sticker shock until the third quarter.

5/ITALIA DEJA VU

Once again it seems there’s good reason to fret over Italy, the euro zone’s third-biggest economy — and one of its most indebted.

Tensions have flared within the ruling coalition over a corruption scandal that cost a junior minister his job. Rome may find itself footing the bill for a bank bailout after BlackRock ditched a proposed rescue of Carige. And finally, the European Commission has warned that Italian finances may deteriorate further. So another showdown with the EU might be looming.

How talks on deficit targets may pan out could become clearer at the May 16 Eurogroup meeting of finance ministers.

Signs of compromise will bring relief to Italian bond markets, where yields have seen their biggest weekly jump in three months with a rise of over 10 basis points. Contrast that to Spain and Portugal, often lumped in with Italy as the euro zone “periphery” — 10-year Spanish yields are at 2-1/2 year troughs while Portuguese yields have touched record lows.

The latest bond se上海夜生活论坛ll-off, which took Italian yields to 2.7%, is small compared to the rout a year ago when yields spiked to 3.4%. But who could be blamed for a sense of deja vu?

UPDATE 2-Jittery investors cut Italian debt and head for safety

* Italy 10-year bond yields rise to 2-1/2 month highs

* Italy/Spain 10-year yield gap near widest since mid-Feb

* Ten-year German Bund yield falls on trade war fears (Updates with move in German bonds)

By Virginia Furness

LONDON, May 13 ( ) – Italian government bonds yields rose to their highest level in 2-1/2 months on Monday as risk aversion caused by deteriorating U.S.-China trade tensions and worries about political infighting in Rome fuelled a selloff.

Germany’s benchmark 10-year bond yield hit a six-week low after China said it would impose higher tariffs on a range of U.S. goods, sparking a rush into safe-haven assets. “Ultimately the longer the prevailing trade tensions are extending, the heavier the impact on tariffs and economic growth globally,” said Rabobank fixed income strategist Matthew Cairns.

Italian bond yields rose after last week’s warning from the European Commission that public finances would deteriorate further and politicians in Rome raised the possibility that Italy could breach EU rules on public spending unnerved investors.

Analysts said they expected public discord between the two ruling Italian parties to grow in the run-up to European elections later this month.

Italy’s 10-year bond yield briefly rose to a 2-1/2 month high at 2.74% before pulling back in late trade to around 2.70%. It rose 13 basis points last week in the biggest weekly selloff in three months.

The Italy/Spain 10-year bond yield gap held close to its widest since mid-February and was last seen at 172 bps .

Germany’s 10-year government bond yield fell 2.5 bps to its lowest in around six weeks at minus 0.074%, as China fought back in its trade war with the United States.

Short-dated U.S. Treasury yields fell 7 bps to 2.18%, squeezing the gap over two-year German bond yields to around 281 bps – its tightest since March .

EUROPEAN ELECTIONS

Investors are watching the Italian political situation closely after Italy’s coalition government vowed last week to patch up their differences and govern for four more years.

But support for Italy’s far-right League party has fallen following the weeks of feuding with its coalition partner the 5-Star Movement, opinion polls showed on Friday.

Commerzbank rates strategist Rainer Guntermann cited the political news flow and fear over the rising deficit for the selloff, but noted that the budget discussion will likely be postponed until after the European elections.

“The Commission is in a vacuum ahead of the election … and this will heat up later this year when we get the official reporting in Europe,” he said.

The European Commission last week cut Italy’s growth forecast to 0.1%, down from 0.2%, and said the country’s deficit could widen beyond the 3% ceiling set by the European Union.

Italy’s government tested investor patience, as well as that of the EU, last year by trying to push through a budget which breached EU deficit rules.

Lawmakers are once again上海夜生活网 mounting a challenge to EU fiscal rules. Italy’s Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio said on Friday the European Union’s fiscal rules should be changed to allow more public spending on health, research and education.

Investors will be able to have their say on the outlook for Italy on Tuesday, when its Treasury auctions up to 6.75 billion euros of bonds.

UPDATE 2-China banks temper April lending as debt worries rise, but all eyes on U.S. trade threat

* April new loans at 1.02 trln yuan vs forecast 1.2 trln yuan

* April M2 money supply up 8.5 pct y/y, in line with forecast

* April TSF at 1.36 trln yuan vs forecast 1.7 trln yuan (Adds analyst quote)

BEIJING, May 9 ( ) – Chinese banks throttled back new lending in April after a record first quarter that sparked fears of more bad loans, but analysts say the central bank will have to keep up policy support for the economy due to escalating trade tensions with the United States.

Global investors are closely watching to see how much more support Beijing injects into the economy to shore up growth. But expectations that it may be moving to a more cautious approach shifted wildly this week after a sudden blowup in U.S.-China ties.

Chinese banks extended 1.02 trillion yuan ($150.16 billion) in net new yuan loans in April, the central bank said on Thursday, well below analysts’ expectations of 1.2 trillion yuan in a poll and March’s surprisingly strong 1.69 trillion yuan.

The credit data was released unexpectedly early, hours ahead of the resumption of last-ditch U.S.-China trade talks and a day ahead of a threatened U.S. tariff increase on Chinese goods. The numbers are usually released between the 10th and 15th of every month.

U.S. President Donald Trump stunned global financial markets on Sunday by announcing the tariff measures, which Beijing later said it will retaliate against. Investors had been betting on news of a trade agreement soon that would relieve pressure on both economies.

While China’s April lending levels have tended to moderate from March in past years, investors had been looking to details of the data for clues on how much more policy easing to expect.

Policy insiders told late last month that China’s central bank is likely to pause to assess economic conditions before making any further moves to ease banks’ reserve requirements, after better-than-expected March growth data reduced the urgency for action.

While the central bank’s easing bias remained unchanged, the sources said it was concerned that pumping too much cash into the economy could reignite bubbles over time, and it wanted to save some of its policy ammunition in case activity deteriorated again.

April’s more modest lending levels suggested Beijing was fine-tuning its policy stance last month, economists at Nomura said in a note.

But they added: “We expect a rebound of money and credit in May.

“The sudden escalation of U.S.-China trade tensions and the recent sharp drop of stock prices could convince Beijing to take further easing measures to bolster confidence and stabilize growth.”

CREDIT GROWTH KEY TO RECOVERY

Thursday’s data also showed that broad M2 money supply in April grew 8.5 percent from a year earlier, in line with market estimates but dipping slightly from March.

Outstanding yuan loans grew 13.5 percent from a year earlier, slightly lower than expectations and March’s 13.7 percent.

Growth of outstanding total social financing (TSF), a broad measure of credit and liquidity in the economy, slowed to 10.4 percent from a year earlier from 10.7 percent in March. TSF growth is a rough gauge of credit conditions.

Total TSF in April fell much more than expected, to 1.36 trillion yuan from 2.86 trillion yuan in March.

Optimism over the outlook for the world’s second-largest economy has improved recently, although preliminary economic data for April showed growth had become more subdued.

But analysts say the Chinese economy is not out of the woods yet, and the chance of reaching a trade deal during Vice Premier Liu He’s visit has declined, adding more uncertainties which might prompt policymakers to take swifter and stronger action.

Top officials have repeatedly vowed not to open the credit floodgates in an economy already saddled with piles of debt – a legacy of massive stimulus during the global financial crisis in 2008-09 and subsequent downturns.

The central bank has cut banks’ reserve requirements five times over the past year,上海夜生活网 and on Monday announced a smaller targeted cut to help cash-strapped smaller firms.

It has also guided money market interest rates lower in various ways, but has not cut benchmark policy rates as it did in the past.

FOREX-Yen surges to 3-month high on fears of U.S. tariffs

* Yen stands tall vs peers as trade woes stoke risk aversion

* Focus on outcome of pivotal US-China talks starting Thursday

* Graphic: World FX rates in 2019 tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh

By Tom Finn

LONDON, May 9 ( ) – The Japanese yen surged to a 3-month high against the dollar on Thursday as investors piled into the safe-haven currency fearing that the U.S.-China trade conflict could escalate.

Two days of trade talks begin in Washington on Thursday and traders are waiting to see whether Chinese and U.S. negotiators can salvage a deal to prevent more U.S. tariff increases.

Currency moves this week in response to a new bout of trade war angst have been fairly muted but Thursday’s jump in the yen – which tends to attract demand in times of political strife and market turmoil – suggested investor nerves are fraying.

The main casualties of the heightened tensions have been the Australian dollar, a proxy for Chinese economic prospects , the U.S. dollar and the offshore Chinese yuan .

The yuan on Thursday fell half a percent to hit a four-month low of 6.838 and was headed for its worst four-day decline in a year.

“It looks very much like a trade deal is almost off the table and that the U.S. will impose new tariffs on Chinese goods tomorrow. Fears in the market are mostly reflected in yu上海夜网an exchange rates,” said Ulrich Leuchtmann, an FX strategist at Commerzbank.

Unlike previous episodes when the dollar benefited from an increase in trade worries, U.S. President Donald Trump’s latest threat to raise tariffs on Chinese imports have prompted market strategists to focus on the corrosive impact on Washington.

The prospects of an escalation in the conflict has seen the yen gain in recent days.

The currency rose 0.3 percent against the dollar at 109.640 yen, a 3-month high, taking its gains to more than 1 percent so far this month.

According to the latest Commodity Futures Trading Commission data, speculators have further raised their net long dollar bets, including those against the yen.

Trump said on Wednesday that China “broke the deal” reached in talks with the United States, and vowed to not back down on imposing new tariffs unless Beijing “stops cheating our workers”.

Shin Kadota, senior strategist at Barclays in Tokyo, said the yen “owes much of its strength to gains made in the cross currency market. ‘Risk on, risk off’ has been the main market driver and the euro has been stuck in range as a result.”

U.S. internet firms ask Trump to support encryption, ease regulations

WASHINGTON ( ) – U.S. internet companies including Facebook Inc and Amazon Inc have sent President-elect Donald Trump a detailed list of their policy priorities, which includes promoting strong encryption, immigration reform and maintaining liability protections from content that users share on their platforms.

The letter sent on Monday by the Internet Association, a trade group whose 40 members also include Alphabet’s Google, Uber and Twitter, represents an early effort to repair the relationship between the technology sector and Trump, who was almost universally disliked and at times denounced in Silicon Valley during the presidential campaign.

“The internet industry looks forward to engaging in an open and productive dialogue,” reads the letter, signed by Michael Beckerman, president of the Internet Association, and seen by .

Some of the policy goals stated in the letter may align with Trump’s priorities, including easing上海夜生活网 regulation on the sharing economy, lowering taxes on profits made from intellectual property and applying pressure on Europe to not erect too many barriers that restrict U.S. internet companies from growing in that market.

Other goals are likely to clash with Trump, who offered numerous broadsides against the tech sector during his campaign.

They include supporting strong encryption in products against efforts by law enforcement agencies to mandate access to data for criminal investigations, upholding recent reforms to U.S. government surveillance programs that ended the bulk collection of call data by the National Security Agency, and maintaining net neutrality rules that require internet service providers to treat web traffic equally.

The association seeks immigration reform to support more high-skilled workers staying in the United States. Though Trump made tougher immigration policies a central theme of his campaign, he has at times shied away from arguing against more H-1B visas for skilled workers, saying in a March debate he was “softening the position because we need to have talented people in this country.”

While urging support for trade agreements, the letter does not mention the Trans Pacific Partnership, which Trump has repeatedly assailed with claims it was poorly negotiated and would take jobs away from U.S. workers. The technology sector supported the deal, but members of Congress have conceded since the election it is not going to be enacted.

Trump’s often-shifting policy proposals on the campaign trail frequently alarmed tech companies and sometimes elicited public mockery, such as when Trump called for closing off parts of the internet to limit militant Islamist propaganda.

Trump has also urged a boycott of Apple Inc products over the company’s refusal to help the Federal Bureau of Investigation unlock an iPhone associated with last year’s San Bernardino, California, shootings, threatened antitrust action against Amazon, and demanded that tech companies such as Apple manufacture their products in the United States.

In a statement, Beckerman said the internet industry looked forward to working closely with Trump and lawmakers in Congress to “cement the internet’s role as a driver of economic and social progress for future generations.”

Norway clears way for Euronext to secure Oslo Bors in Nasdaq battle

PARIS/OSLO ( ) – Euronext won approval from Norway’s Ministry of Finance to buy up to 100% of Oslo Bors on Monday, effectively ending a five-month battle with Nasdaq for one of the last independent stock market operators in Europe.

While Euronext has already secured a stake of more than 50% in Oslo Bors, Nasdaq had argued that no takeover should be allowed unless a two-thirds stake was obtained in order to ensure that a buyer would have complete control.

Both had offered 158 Norwegian crowns per share for Oslo Bors, valuing it at around 6.8 billion Norwegian crowns ($779 million), but the view of the Norwegian government was crucial.

“Euronext welcomes the ministry’s clearance to acquire up to 100% of Oslo Bors VPS’s capital and looks forward to completing the next steps to close the transaction by the end of June,” its Chief Executive Stephane Boujnah said on Monday.

“We are extremely satisfied the process is carried out in full respect of Norwegian law,” Boujnah told .

Both Euronext, which runs exchanges in Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam, Lisbon and Dublin, and Nasdaq are looking to expand their portfolios but opportunities are scarce as market operators either already belong to international groups or because their shareholders want to remain independent.

Given technological changes, size has become an important feature as big data allows larger market operators to squeeze costs and reduce transaction fees.

Oslo Bors was one of the last potential target for Euronext in the region where Nasdaq and London Stock Exchange already control several platforms.

Shares in Paris-based Euronext, which is due to release first quarter results this week, traded 1.6% higher at 61 euros.

Nasdaq had won the support of more than a third of Oslo Bors shareholders including the Norwegian market operator’s major shareholders DNB and KLP. The U.S.-based firm had been hoping to block Euronext’s bid.

No such minimum ownership requirement will be imposed however, the Norwegian ministry said in a statement.

DISAPPOINTMENT FOR NASDAQ

Euronext’s CEO said the offer filed by Euronext is open for the shareholders who supported the Nasdaq bid.

He expects them to tender their shares to Euronext now since the offer filed by Nasdaq is unlikely to proceed. “I don’t think Nasdaq intends to be an minority shareholder in Oslo Bors,” Boujnah said.

Nasdaq expressed its disappointment at the decision by the government, and said it would assess its options.

“The decision not to require a two-thirds majority of the shares to be obtained by any person seeking to acquire control of Oslo Bors VPS is disappointing,” Lauri Rosendahl, president of Nasdaq Nordic, said.

Oslo Bors would diversify Euronext’s revenue from shares and derivative trading, given Oslo Bors’ leading position in seafood derivatives as well as oil services and shipping.

Euronext plans to appoint the CEO of Oslo Bors to its managing board, and set up a hub that would supervise all commodities transactions in the Norwegian capital.

“Euronext looks forward to supporting the Norwegian financial and business community, to working constructively with all key 上海夜生活constituents and stakeholders to further drive the success of Oslo Bors VPS,” Boujnah said.

The board of Oslo Bors, which had supported Nasdaq over Euronext, said it would work with the new owner.

“The board of Oslo Bors VPS takes note of the (ministry’s) decision and will work closely with the new majority owner to maintain the company, its business and the employees in the best possible way,” it said in a statement.

($1 = 8.7338 Norwegian crowns)

METALS-Copper drops on weak Chinese data and surge in LME stocks

* GRAPHIC-2019 asset returns: tmsnrt.rs/2jvdmXl (Adds closing prices, updates trade war)

By Zandi Shabalala

LONDON, March 14 ( ) – Copper prices dropped on Thursday as industrial output in top metals consumer China fell to a 17-year low in the first two months of 2019, while LME stocks of the metal used in power and construction rose.

Other Chinese data showed a mixed picture as the jobless rate climbed but property investment strengthened.

Deutsche Bank metals strategist Nick Snowdon said the delivery of copper metal into LME warehouses “has been taken as a signal that we are seeing the softness we saw in China feed into ex-China market”.

“China data also disappointed and pointed to relatively sluggish growth,” Snowdon said.

Benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange closed 1.1 percent lower at $6,404 per tonne, its lowest in nearly a week.

U.S. President Donald Trump and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Thursday that discussions with China to end a months-long trade war are progressing quickly, though Trump said he could not say whether a final deal would be reached.

There were reports earlier saying a meeting between Washington and Beijing scheduled for later this month could be pushed back to at least April.

Hopes for a resolution of the long-standing trade conflict have helped propel the LME index of six major base metals up nearly 9 percent so far this year.

STOCKS: On-warrant stocks of copper, those not earmarked for delivery, in LME-approved warehouses jumped 34,900 tonnes to 66,325 tonnes. MCUSTX-TOTAL

SPREADS: The premium of cash copper over the three-month LME contract CMCU0-3 eased to $20 a tonne from a discount of $70 last week, indicating worries over tight supply were easing.

CHINA PREMIUMS: China’s Yangshan copper import premium SMM-CUYP-CN rose to $59 from $52.5 registered a week ago, which was a level not seen since April 2017.

CHINA STEEL: China’s daily steel output rose in January and February, as mills in the world’s top producer raised production amid firm steel margins and easier environmental restrictions.

ZINC: Vedanta’s Skorpion zinc refinery in Namibia has suspended operations for five weeks due to lack of raw feed material. The refinery has a capacity of 100,000 tonnes annually.

“This comes with available LME inventories in zinc extremely low, and while demand conditions remain subdued (as evidenced by low physical premiums),上海夜生活论坛 ongoing supply issues may see further aggressive backwardation in the coming weeks,” said BMO Capital Markets analyst Colin Hamilton.

ZINC STOCKS: Headline LME inventories of zinc fell 250 tonnes to 58,700 tonnes, their lowest since October 2007.

OTHER METALS: Aluminium fell 0.2 percent to $1,903 per tonne, zinc shed 0.8 percent to $2,825, lead ceded 0.7 percent to $2,114, tin eased 0.7 percent higher at $21,170 and nickel lost 2.5 percent to $12,880.

In Silicon Valley, some Indian Americans shun Clinton after election row

SAN FRANCISCO ( ) – Hillary Clinton, who has long cultivated the Indian-American community for both funds and votes, is tapping into the excitement around the Silicon Valley visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi this weekend. Next Monday she is holding a presidential campaign fundraiser expected to attract many prominent Californians with ties to India.

    But some Indian-American Democrats from the region have told they won’t be attending the event, in part because they are upset about the way a candidate was treated in a 2014 race for a Silicon Valley congressional seat. Their frustration extends to other Democratic candidates and causes besides Clinton, who wasn’t involved in the race, but ignoring her campaign is a high-profile way to vent.

    Supporters of the candidate, Ro Khanna, an intellectual-property lawyer of South Indian heritage, accuse his opponent, fellow Democrat Mike Honda, of using race-baiting to undermine Khanna. Honda narrowly beat out Khanna, a former trade official in President Barack Obama’s administration, in the election for a seat in the House of Representatives.

    Just weeks before the election, Honda attacked Khanna in a television ad for supporting “companies that send our jobs overseas.” In the same ad, a shadow briefly appeared on Khanna’s forehead that some Khanna supporters interpreted as a bindi, a red dot worn by many Indians but not by Khanna. 

    Khanna’s supporters point out that in 2012 he published  a book on the importance of U.S. manufacturing jobs, and they say that the shadow was an attempt to spark unease among non-Indians. They say the Democratic Party should have intervened to stop what they saw as unfair attacks.

    Honda spokesman Adam Alberti says Khanna’s financial backers included supporters of outsourcing, and no dot was placed, or is visible, on Khanna’s forehead in the ad in question.

    “The issue of racial baiting is both unfounded and is shallow political theater,” said Alberti, adding that as a Japanese-American who was held in an internment camp as a baby during World War II, Honda is especially committed to racial diversity. In March, Honda co-hosted a networking and fundraising event for “Ready for Clinton,” the organization that sought to draft Clinton to run for president.

    Among those who say they aren’t going to Monday’s Clinton fundraiser, or getting involved in other Democratic campaigns out of concern at Khanna’s treatment, is Rahul Roy, a software entrepreneur. “It hurts,” he says. Roy recently hosted a fundraiser for Khanna, who is  running for the seat again in 2016.

    The Clinton campaign says it is concentrating on the large numbers of Indian Americans that back her. “Hillary Clinton is grateful for the broad support she is receiving across the Indian-American and Asian-American and Pacific Islander communities in California and around the country,” a spokesman said. He did not respond to questions from about the disquiet over the 2014 election.

SOCIAL JUSTICE

    Certainly Clinton has been raising funds in Silicon Valley, where donations to her and an organization raising money on her behalf from area technology employees have totaled $1.07 million through June 30, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

    And some Khanna supporters are raising money for her. Monday’s Clinton fundraiser – which she is due to attend in person – is being hosted in their home by Khanna supporters Kamil Hasan, a venture capitalist, and his wife Talat Hasan, an entrepreneur. Tickets start at $1,000, and it is expected to attract at least 150 donors, according to a person familiar with the event.

    Khanna’s supporters have shown a largesse that any presidential candidate would want to tap into. He has raised $1.25 million through June 30, far more than most congressional candidates, and more than double the $608,上海夜生活000 raised by Honda.

    “Some of the attacks were very xenophobic,” said Naren Gupta, a Khanna donor and co-founder of investment firm Nexus Ventures, who said the party should have stepped in. He stopped short of saying the issue would affect his support for other Democratic candidates. He is not expected at the Hasan fundraiser, according to the person familiar with the event.

Gupta is also co-chairman of the Indo-American Community of the West Coast, which is helping organize Modi’s appearance before a capacity crowd of 18,000 at the SAP Center in San Jose on Sunday.

    Other donors, like Facebook millionaire turned venture capitalist Chamath Palihapitiya, think Khanna should have hit back harder.

    “You’ve got to be willing to take the gloves off and fight,” said Palihapitya, who donated $2,600 to Khanna in the last race and said he planned to support him again this time. He hasn’t made up his mind about who he might support in the presidential race, he said.

Through spokesman Hari Sevugan, Khanna took credit for bringing many South Asians and technology workers into the political arena for the first time. Now, many of those recruits feel alienated, the spokesman said. Khanna himself didn’t comment directly on the 2014 race or its fallout, but in an email said Indian Americans feel strongly about social justice, and the Democratic Party “needs to do a better job recognizing that.”    

RPT-Only way is down: strong bid for negative-yielding KfW bond amid rates stasis

(Repeats Friday story without changes)

* German banks sells 5 bln euros of bonds at -0.267 pct yield

* Euro zone lenders, foreign central banks among buyers

* Deal paves way for other borrowers to do same

By Abhinav Ramnarayan

LONDON, March 15 ( ) – German development bank KfW’s 5 billion euro debt sale, at one of the most deeply negative yields on record for such a deal, is a clear sign investors are resigned to several more years of low interest rates in the euro zone, bankers and analysts said.

Triple-A-rated KfW, whose debt is guaranteed by the German government and often seen as a proxy for German Bunds, sold 5 billion euros of three-year bonds via a syndicate of banks on Tuesday at a yield of minus 0.267 percent.

Negative yields have been a feature of the euro zone bond market since the European Central Bank began stimulus measures to aid the bloc’s recovery from the debt crisis of 2010-2012.

But the KfW deal is one of very few benchmark-sized transactions to price at such a deeply negative level.

“Nobody really expects rising rates, given the statements by the ECB and (U.S. Federal Reserve) and given the economic data we currently get,” said Petra Wehlert, head of capital markets at KfW. “Investors live with what they get, and they feel comfortable enough to buy into negative rates at the short end (of the yield curve).

“Investors have to manage their cash, and if there is no change in environment, the risk is limited. KfW bonds are a Bund surrogate, and portfolio managers need to buy liquid securities,” she added, while上海夜生活网 acknowledging that demand had exceeded KfW’s expectations.

Comparable examples such as the European Investment Bank’s 5 billion euro three-year deal in January 2016 came at the height of the ECB’s now-terminated asset purchase scheme — and yet the yield on that deal was much higher, at minus 0.147 percent.

The fact that KfW was able to price at such a deeply negative yield even after new asset purchases ceased seems to confirm that investors expect the euro zone economy to flat-line for years to come, and that the ECB will be unable to hike rates meaningfully for the foreseeable future.

FEW ALTERNATIVES

Mark Byrne, a syndicate official at TD Securities, which managed the deal alongside BNP Paribas and JP Morgan, said the ECB’s deposit rate of minus 0.40 percent was a clear incentive for banks to invest in such a bond.

But it was not the only reason for the demand, he said: “Not all investors have access to this (deposit facility) — central banks, asset managers and some non-euro zone banks for example. So you must look at their alternative investments.”

He cited the example of three-year German Bunds, trading around minus 0.53 percent, and three-year French government bonds — with a lower credit rating than KfW — trading at minus 0.376 percent.

“So it makes sense (to buy KfW’s bond) if you are a global central bank that needs to hold euros as part of your portfolio,” Byrne said.

As a result, the two biggest types of investor in KfW’s deal were banks, who took 38 percent of the 5 billion euros sold, and central banks, who took 35 percent.

For banks, the deposit rate is a powerful incentive — paying 26 basis points to hold KfW’s debt could be seen as an improvement on paying 40 bps to hold cash at the ECB. Both count towards the regulatory requirement that lenders hold a proportion of assets in liquid and highly rated instruments.

“The high demand from the banks as a sector overall often has to do with regulatory demand,” said Commerzbank rates strategist Rainer Guntermann. “Most investors also suspect the ECB will take some of the supply in the coming weeks.”

Factbox: U.S. Republican 2016 presidential field slips to 16 after Perry quits

( ) – The field of candidates vying to be the Republican Party nominee in the November 2016 U.S. presidential election slipped to 16 after former Texas Governor Rick Perry quit the race last week.

Candidates in the still-crowded field will meet on Wednesday at the next debate, hosted by CNN with 11 of the contenders.

For the latest /Ipsos poll results on the Republican presidential candidates, see: (bit.ly/1EXCTxR)

Here is a list of the remaining Republicans seeking the nomination:

JEB BUSH

The former Florida governor, the son of one president and brother of another, is a favorite among the Republican establishment. Bush, 62, has become a main target of rival Donald Trump and failed to gain traction in the polls, but this month vowed to jump-start his campaign. He has also faced criticism for not distancing himself from the foreign policies of his brother, former President George W. Bush, and for taking moderate positions on issues such as immigration.

BEN CARSON

Retired neurosurgeon Carson, 63, is a favorite of conservative activists who has touted his outsider status and has seen his public support grow. Raised in a poor family by a single mother, Carson rose to be director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. He is the only black candidate running from either major political party.

CHRIS CHRISTIE

The New Jersey governor, 52, has vowed to bridge Washington’s partisan divide. Seen as plain-spoken by supporters and a bully by detractors, Christie’s trademark style has been eclipsed by rival Trump’s own brash rhetoric. While Christie won kudos for his response to Superstorm Sandy in 2012, his support has eroded amid the “Bridgegate” scandal and financial strains in his home state.

TED CRUZ

Cruz, 44, of Texas is the favorite of the party’s conservative Tea Party movement and has appeared with Trump rather than criticize the Republican front-runner as other rivals have done. Some blamed Cruz for the October 2013 government shutdown, and he is seen as leading the charge over the current budget fight. The Princeton- and Harvard-educated son of a Cuban immigrant, Cruz was the first Republican to officially enter the race.

CARLY FIORINA

Once one of the most powerful women in American business, the former Hewlett-Packard Co chief executive has seen her support rise following her performance in the party’s August debate. Fiorina, 60, has positioned herself as an outsider with corporate experience, although she was pushed out of the tech company and later lost her bid for the U.S. Senate. She has criticized the only other woman so far seeking the presidency, Democrat Hillary Clinton.

JIM GILMORE

The former head of the Republican National Committee briefly ran for the party’s 2008 presidential nomination. Gilmore, 65, earlier served one term as the governor of Virginia, a swing state in presidential elections. A former Army intelligence officer, he has also advised former U.S. presidents on counter terrorism response.

LINDSEY GRAHAM

The U.S. senator from South Carolina, a close ally of 2008 Republican presidential nominee John McCain, is running as a defense hawk and has made criticism of President Barack Obama’s foreign policy the main focus of his campaign. The 59-year-old has been more moderate on other issues such as immigration reform and climate change.

MIKE HUCKABEE

Former Arkansas Governor Huckabee, 59, ran unsuccessfully in 2008 and declined to run in 2012 despite his popularity with influential evangelical leaders and voters. The former host of a popular Fox News television show has focused in public appearances on the plight of working Americans left behind in the economic recovery.

BOBBY JINDAL

Louisiana’s two-term governor was once seen as a rising Republican star, but state budget woes have hurt his popularity at home. Jindal, 44, is close to the bottom of the pack in the polls and came under fire in 2013 for calling his party “stupid.” He is the first person of Indian-American heritage to run for U.S. president.

JOHN KASICH

The 63-year-old Ohio governor represents an important election swing state and could be a potent force in the Republican field. Re-elected to a second term in November, Kasich was the last Republican candidates to enter the race. He announced his bid with a focus on budget issues, race relations and his government experience.

GEORGE PATAKI

The former New York governor, who led the heavily Democratic-leaning state for three terms, could be a moderate voice in a Republican field heavy with conservatives but so far is at the bottom of most polls. Pataki, 70, has not held public office since 2006.

RAND PAUL

The first-term Kentucky senator, 52, is following his father, Ron Paul, in seeking the presidency. A libertarian, he has lobbed criticism at Democrats and fellow Republicans alike over the federal debt and personal liberties. He casts himself as an anti-establishment reformer who could win over young and minority voters.

MARCO RUBIO

Rubio, 44, cast his entry into the Republican field as a “generational choice.” The son of Cuban immigrants, the U.S. senator from Florida swept into Congre上海夜网ss in the Tea Party wave of 2010. He has fought to strengthen ties with conservatives after a failed push for comprehensive immigration reform in 2013.

RICK SANTORUM

A favorite of the Christian right, the former Pennsylvania senator, 57, announced his 2016 bid with an eye on economic issues as other contenders also compete for religious conservatives. He has promised to boost the middle class, eliminate the Internal Revenue Service and crack down on illegal immigration.

DONALD TRUMP

The 69-year-old real estate mogul and TV personality has surged in public opinion polls over the summer, leading his closest rival by double digits. Although the outspoken billionaire has come under fire for controversial remarks about immigrants and women, he continues to lead the pack. He recently pledged not to buck the Republican party and run as an independent.

SCOTT WALKER

Walker, 47, had been expected to be the candidate of choice among donors looking for a more conservative option but has fallen into Trump’s shadow. The two-term Wisconsin governor has seen his lead shrink in recent weeks in Iowa, a key state because it votes early in the nominating process.

Egyptian pound appreciates to highest in over two years

CAIRO, March 17 ( ) – The Egyptian pound strengthened on Sunday to its highest in over two years, boosted by an increase in foreign funds into the country.

The currency was trading at 17.34 to the dollar o上海夜生活n Sunday, up more than three percent from 17.86 on Jan. 22 when it began its latest round of strengthening.

“You’re seeing most of the indicators improving,” said Hany Farahat, senior economist at Egyptian investment bank CI Capital. “Tourism, exports, substitution of natural gas imports with domestic production, remittances are at a peak, FDI is improving slightly.”

He also said the higher inflows were due in large part to Egypt scrapping a mechanism that guaranteed foreign currency for investors exiting the government securities market.

“Once the repatriation mechanism was abolished, it meant that every single inflow coming into the country reflects directly on interbank liquidity,” he said. “This, in tandem, should also reflect directly on EGP volatility against the dollar.”

“I think it has come a bit late. If the repatriation mechanism had been removed a year ago, this appreciation would have happened a year ago,” he said.

Since the central bank devalued the currency by about half in 2016, economists say it has closely controlled the value of the pound, which was last this strong in March 2017.

Allen Sandeep, head of research at Naeem Brokerage, said the higher inflows were also due to increased carry trade appetite for Egyptian treasury securities and improving balance of payments.

“We have now restarted LNG exports,” Sandeep said. “On an annual basis, assuming that we export 1 billion cubic feet (bcf) of gas every day, that adds more than $2 billion in exports per year.”

Egypt, which now exports 1.1 bcf of natural gas per day, became a net exporter in late 2018, a significant turnaround for a country that spent about $3 billion on annual LNG imports as recently as 2016.

Koch brothers, other 2016 mega donors warm to Carly Fiorina

NEW YORK ( ) – Carly Fiorina has emerged as the Republican candidate of the moment in conservative fundraising circles, drawing the notice of the billionaire Koch brothers and other wealthy donors who could instantly remake her shoestring presidenti上海夜生活al campaign.

Fiorina’s show-stealing performance in a Republican presidential debate last month, and her subsequent surge in the polls, has prompted industrialists Charles and David Koch to take a “serious look” at the former Hewlett-Packard chief executive, according to three sources close to the brothers.

She has now moved to the short list of candidates the Kochs may support with their reported $1 billion war chest, the sources said. Florida Senator Marco Rubio is among those on the coveted list, the sources said.

A spokesman for the Kochs declined to comment

Other politically powerful mega donors are also lining up.

Texas oilman T. Boone Pickens hosted a packed luncheon at a posh Dallas venue for Fiorina in late September, while venture capitalist Tom Perkins is planning a fundraising gala in California in the next few months.

“My money is on her,” said Perkins, who served on HP’s board during Fiorina’s tenure. “I think she could be president.”

As the only woman on stage at the Sept. 16 debate, Fiorina emerged as the most effective candidate in taking on front-runner Donald Trump, chastening the celebrity real estate magnate for his controversial comments about her looks.

“The emails have not stopped” since then, said seasoned California political fundraising consultant Karolyn Dorsee, who is working on behalf of several Republican presidential candidates, including Rubio and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush. “Everybody wants her, nationwide, in every single state.”

Even before her rapid rise in the polls – she has vaulted to second place in the key early voting state of New Hampshire – Fiorina had already garnered about $2 million in support from the likes of reclusive hedge fund baron Robert Mercer and former Univision CEO Jerrold Perenchio.

“SHE’S PRETTY VIABLE”

Fiorina’s campaign now appears far less of a long-shot than it did over the summer, when she was struggling with sparse crowds, scant name recognition and a coffer of just $5 million that put her at the bottom of the money race.

Her campaign thus far has been a bare-bones operation, relying on a young, relatively low-paid, skeletal staff as opposed to the sprawling operations built by more well-endowed candidates like Bush.

Support from the Kochs would change her operation overnight.

“We think she’s pretty viable,” said broadcasting billionaire Stanley Hubbard, a member of the Koch brothers’ network of conservative advocacy groups who donates heavily to political candidates.

The Kochs have been keeping a close eye on Fiorina ever since she announced in May, the Koch sources said. They extended an invite to her to speak at their exclusive summit of rich donors at an oceanfront luxury resort in August along with Rubio, Bush, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, and Texas Senator Ted Cruz.

Fiorina, the lowest polling candidate at the gathering, impressed the big money attendees with her mastery of policy detail and heavyweight stage presence. “She’s good in the room,” said one participant at the event, who declined to be named.

The Fiorina campaign, and the independent fund-raising Super PAC supporting her, declined comment.

The Kochs, who own America’s second-largest private company, have backed Fiorina in the past, notably when she ran unsuccessfully against incumbent Democrat Barbara Boxer for her California Senate seat in 2010.

At the time, the Kochs had helped mount a campaign for Proposition 23, a ballot measure designed to suspend the state law banning higher carbon emissions that was ultimately defeated. Fiorina also supported the measure. A Koch Industries PAC helped sponsor a Washington fundraiser for Fiorina at the time and gave $10,000 to her campaign.

   As Fiorina’s money problems fade, some high dollar donors who have already contributed are now considering doubling down. Dallas philanthropist Elloine Clark has so far written one $100,000 check to the Super PAC supporting Fiorina. She says she may give more. “I think she’s unflappable,” said Clark. “And she doesn’t react like an adolescent.”   

Preview: Atalanta – Napoli

Napoli’s Serie A ambitions will be put to a stern test this weekend, as they travel to take on their bogey team Atalanta.

Flashscore presents the key facts before the match:

The hosts are yet to reprise the highs of last season, but are slowly capturing their best form. Having qualified for the knockout stages of the Europa League and progressing in the Coppa Italia at the expense of Napoli, Atalanta will look to climb from their seventh position in SA.

Napoli have put all their efforts into SA with the sole aim of toppling Juventus. The Champions League is out of the window now and so is the Coppa Italia, although they would have loved a domestic double! One-point clear at the top in SA looks slender, though, and Napoli know the importance of winning this game.

Atalanta’s home record in SA has been a mixed bag in ten matches (W5, D3, L2), during which they scored 19 goals (avg上海夜生活. of 1.9). Coming into this match, they have lost only once in their last seven SA games (W4, D2, L1).

Napoli are the ‘kings on the road’ this season, dropping points only against Chievo (0-0) in ten fixtures. They have scored 22 goals in these games, conceding just seven. Is that confidence enough to break their least favourite opponent?Tottenham’s Son to Napoli – “Why not” George Patchias – Tottenham Hotspurs Son Heung-min could possibly be interested in a move to Napoli.After recent comments about wanting to leave Spurs at one time, were…

Key battles: With four goals and five assists in SA so far, Atalanta’s Alejandro Gomez has seen his stock rise exponentially. Will he trip the leaders?

He will be up against Napoli’s Dries Mertens whose ten goals and six assists have been influential in his side’s early season run.

Stat attack: Atalanta have lost only once at home in six SA games against Napoli (W3, D2, L1). They lost their last home game against Cagliari and the last time they lost two in a row was in March 2016.

Missing players

Atalanta: M. De Roon (suspension)

Napoli: F. Ghoulam (knee injury), A. Milik (knee injury)

Preview: Real Madrid – Deportivo La Coruna

Round 20 of La Liga marks the start of the second half of the season with both Real Madrid and Dep. La Coruna hoping to reverse their current poor form.

Flashscore presents the key facts before the match:

While Zinedine Zidane’s side have accumulated a three-match winless streak (LL), Deportivo are in need of a victory after picking up just one point in the last four matches (LL).

Disastrous home performances have kept Madrid in fourth place of the table. The ‘Merengues’ have only won 50% of their clashes played at the Santiago Bernabéu (W5, D2, L3) which is usually something unheard of!

With rumours of Cristiano Ronaldo willing to leave the club at the end of the season, as well as players linked to join Madrid (Neymar, Kane, Hazard…), coach Zidane talked about the Portuguese star: “I can’t imagine a Real Madrid without Cristiano”.

Even though there was an 18-year 上海夜生活period in which Madrid were unable to win at the Riazor stadium, their record at the Bernabéu looks different, as the last time the Galician side won there was back in 2008 (2-1).

Players to watch: Florin Andone (Deportivo) has recovered last season’s efficiency (11 goals). The Romanian has five goals this term – including three in the last three fixtures.Top 5 Real Madrid players who are succeeding on a loan Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – We need to talk about the Top 5 Real Madrid players who are currently succeeding away from the club and are currently on a…

Everyone is waiting for Cristiano Ronaldo to up his level. His goal scoring average is as low as it was in his very first season at Madrid in 2009. He’s scored only four goals in 1,156 minutes which is way below his usual astronomical standards.

Stat attack: Madrid would be on top of the LL table if only the first 45 minutes counted, but they would sit 11th if only looking at second halves.

Deportivo have only one clean sheet and one win as an away side. However, they have only failed to score in three of the nine away clashes which should make things interesting.

Missing players

Real Madrid: S. Ramos (calf injury), J. Vallejo (thigh injury), L. Zidane (shoulder injury), K. Benzema (doubtful)

Deportivo La Coruna: J. Bicho (shoulder injury), F. Cartabia (doubtful), B. Gama (doubtful), G. Valentin (doubtful).

Preview: Lazio – Chievo

Will it be the Champions League ambitions of Lazio or the survival instincts of Chievo? With it all to play for, this Serie A clash hosted in the capital city has an interesting sub-context.

Flashscore presents the key facts before the match:

The hosts are fourth in SA, taking advantage of a poor recent run by Roma. With the battle for the final CL qualification spot looking set to be between these two eternal rivals, Lazio would be eager to pocket three points against Chievo.

The visitors have picked up just one win since the end of October and are living off their early season form of 15 points from the opening nine games. They now sit 13th in SA and just seven points above the relegation places. If the slide is not halted, do not be surprised if they find themselves amid that battle soon!

The hosts have won their last three home games in all competitions to go with four on the trot at home to teams in the bottom half. They have a very good scoring record (48 goals) behind only Juventus in SA, although they have conceded the most (24 goals) among the top five!

Compare that to Chievo, who have scored just 20 goals in 20 games so far in SA! In addition, their away form is shaky, with no wins in six trips (W0, D2, L4).

Key battles: With 20 goals this year, Lazio’s Ciro Immobile has been the mainstay for Lazio’s goals. Can he continue his goal lust?Top 5 matches to watch during October’s first weekend Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – With a new weekend in European football about to begin, we dive into the Top 5 matches to watch a上海夜网cross all the major leagues.After…

Leading Chievo’s charge will be Roberto Inglese with seven goals. He will look to capitalise on Lazio’s generosity at the back.

Stat attack: Chievo have not scored in their last three away SA games and lost all of them.

These two sides, together with Inter Milan, have scored the most headed goals in SA this season (seven).

Missing players

Lazio: F. Caicedo (leg injury), S. Radu (suspension), D. Di Gennaro (doubtful), F. Marchetti (doubtful), Mauricio (doubtful)

Chievo: L. Castro (knee injury), A. Gamberini (muscle injury), R. Inglese (knee injury), R. Meggiorini (doubtful).