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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)

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.

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.

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.

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.”   

Giggs thinks that United are still the best in Manchester

Ryan Giggs still thinks that Manchester United have to be considered as a bigger and more successful club than Manchester City are – and the Citizens have to start winning trophies to change that fact.

Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City are expected to clinch their first Premier League since 2014 when they managed to gain it under Manuel Pellegrini – since then, they failed to win it again and Giggs thinks that they can’t be considered as the best team in Manchester because of that. Now, there is an eight-point gap between these two and José Mourinho will be looking for closing it in the upcoming fixture.

The former Manchester United player and legend spoke about the differences between these two as he said, according to Sky Sports: “There are more academy players coming through at United than there are at City. United won two trophies last year, and City haven’t won any for a couple of years. They a上海夜生活re obviously very good, and with the spending power that they have got, every year they get closer, but still, United, with the record that they have got, to go with the top manager and the top players, are still on top, but the gap is closing.”Solskjaer “very pleased” after another failure to win George Patchias – Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said he was “very pleased,” even though United failed to win yet again.It is now ten games on the road since…

He continued by adding that City can be considered as a big contender: “With that spending power, and the coach that they have got, they will be very difficult to stop them over the next couple of years because they are playing unbelievable football. But until you win that trophy, you can’t start comparing them to Arsenal’s Invincibles or other teams who have won the Premier League.”

Phil Neville, another TV pundit, mentioned that City are just at the beginning of their journey: “They are still putting those building blocks in place. They are dominating and, at this moment in time, they are the best team, in Europe, they are playing the best football, but you have to measure success on winning trophies. They have a fantastic training ground, an academy that can produce top players, but not in great numbers. These are the sort of things where they need to match United. Winning trophies is how this team will be defined.”

Nemyar tried to have Barcelona excluded from UCL

Neymar left Barcelona this summer for PSG, but his departure did not come in the best terms.

PSG decided to pay the €222m release clause in the Brazilian’s contract and Barcelona were left powerless. The Catalans delayed as much as possible the sending of the relevant documents to France and therefore PSG were not able to register Neymar in time for their first match in Ligue 1.

Furthermore, Barcelona accused PSG of breaching the FFP regulations. However, Neymar hit back and has his own personal war going on with the Catalans. The Brazilian reported Barcelona to UEFA and asked for nothing less than the exclusion of the Catalans from Champions League, according to AS.Opinion: FC Barcelona needed to end the internal war Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – After a victory at Camp Nou, we believe that FC Barcelona did well by ending the internal war between players and the board ASAP.Those…

The 25-year-old formulated a com上海夜生活论坛plaint against his former team, after Barcelona refused to pay the player’s father the €26m loyalty bonus for the extension on his contract until 2021. Neymar’s decision came after multiple consultations with his legal team, but UEFA decided to dismiss the case, deeming the Brazilian’s claims not founded.

According to Mundo Deportivo, Neymar and his father decided to give up their status as socios of the Catalan club, after the decision that came from UEFA.

Mourinho will not lose sleep over missed handshake with Conte

The Blues manager went straight into the pitch after final whistle of the referee.

Manchester United head coach insisted he would not chase Antoni上海夜网o Conte just to shake hands with him after losing the Sunday showdown with 1-0 to Chelsea.

The pair have not been in the best relationship ever since the arrival of the Italian at Stamford Bridge as the Portuguese accused Conte of over-celebrating his team’s goals last season when the Blues dominated the Red Devils with a 4-0 win.

On Sunday, Conte went straight into the pitch at the final whistle, missing a potential handshake with Mourinho, who shook hands with the rest of the Blues’ staff.Jamie Carragher puts Chelsea over Manchester United and Arsenal Nedim Maric – In an uneventful derby, last night, Manchester United and Arsenal both got point each.Top four-fight this season looks like it’s going to be between…

The Portuguese, however, insisted there was no issue between the pair when he was asked about the missed handshake after the game.

“You want me to go and chase him in the middle of the pitch? I was there. I shook hands with the people who were there,” he told reporters after the game, according to Goal.

“I think one of them was his brother, the assistant, so I feel that by shaking the hands of his brother and the other assistants that I did my duty. I cannot go and run to chase him.

“Why should I wait [in the tunnel]? He doesn’t have to wait. There is no problem with it at all. You are always worried with these things… no problem.”

Official: PSG sign Mbappe

Paris Saint-Germain have officially announced the transfer of Kylian Mbappe from Monaco.

The most expected transfer of the summer has been finalised. PSG have 上海夜生活论坛signed Kylian Mbappe on a season-long loan with an option-to-buy that would tie the player to Paris until 2022. The move of the 18-year-old has been confirmed by both clubs.

The striker, currently with the France national team, said to the official website of the Parisians:“It is with great joy and pride that I join the Paris Saint-Germain. For any young person from the Paris region, it is often a dream to wear the red and blue jersey and to taste the unique atmosphere of the Parc des Princes.”Drogba tips for Neymar and Mbappe to win Ballon d’Or one day Nedim Maric – One of the best strikers in the Premier League era talked about PSG’s sensational duo and their chances of winning individual awards in the…

“I was seduced by the project of the club, it is one of the most ambitious in Europe. Along with my new teammates, I intend to continue my progression today while helping the team to achieve the very big objectives it has set itself”, Mbappe added.

It remains to be seen how PSG will deal with the FFP and how they will explain to UEFA the deal that has brought Mbappe to Paris, after having already spent €222m for Neymar.

Arsenal still pushing for Draxler

The Gunners are still hopeful that they will manage to land the German winger.

Although they have made it clear that they are not interested in selling Alexis Sanchez, Arsenal are trying to get cover in case a late Manchester City offer will prove too hard to refuse. Julian Draxler of PSG is the player identified by Arsene Wenger as a quality replacement for the Chilean.

PSG need to offload some of their players following the record-breaking transfer of Neymar Jr. from Barcelona and the prospect of signing Mbappe from Monaco in the second most expensive deal in history. For this reason, the Parisians are willing to let Julian Draxler go. Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund have been link上海夜生活网ed with moves for the German international and now, according to The Mirror, Arsenal have re-entered the race for the 23-year-old.Top 5 players to watch in Manchester United vs Arsenal Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – Ahead of the most important Premier League match of the weekend, we got the Top 5 players to watch in Man United vs Arsenal.The…

The Gunners have previously been linked with the German, but now it seems like the interest is real and an official bid will be submitted in the coming hours. Arsene Wenger told Manchester City that he will not sell Alexis Sanchez because he wouldn’t have the time to find a valuable replacement for him. But, if Draxler will move to Emirates, then it might open the door for Alexis to make the switch to Etihad.

Alderweireld admits no progress in contract talks

The Belgium international defender remains a Spurs player until 2019, but there is no development on the discussions regarding an extension.

Toby Alderweireld has admitted there is nothing regarding a potential new contract from Tottenham. The Belgium full-back has established himself as a top-quality centre-back during his time in England. Spurs are reportedly interested in extending his contract, but no breakthrough has been made as Alderweireld has to keep waiting on updates from his superiors.

When approached and asked about a potential contract renewal, the 28-year-old told Sky Sports: “No news that I know of so nothing… zero.”

The player also shared that Kyle Walker’s departure was bad news for the whole squad, but they will have to find a way to deal with it.Kane: Transfer window disrupted the Spurs squad Andrew Smyth – Harry Kane believes a key reason behind Tottenham’s early-season crisis is down to all the uncertainty surrounding some players’ fu上海夜网ture in the transfer window.

“Everybody is sad that he left.

“He is one of the best full-backs in the world and unfortunately he goes to another [Premier League] team, but we have to focus ourselves to win the game.”

The Belgium international joined Tottenham from Atletico Madrid in 2015 and has made 80 appearances for the Spurs over the course of two seasons.

Pepe to Ronaldo: “Come with me at PSG\u201d

The Portuguese centre-back is one of the best friends of Ronaldo in football, as the pair shared the changing room at Bernabeu for close to eight years now.Written by Cosmin Mihalescu. June 19, 2017.

But with Pepe set to leave Santiago Bernabeu this summer, and Ronaldo’s recent tax evasion scandal, the centre-back is looking to take advantage of their friendship and try to persuade his co-national to join him at Paris Saint Germain.

According to the Spanish Press, Pepe sent a clear message to Ronaldo: “Come with me at PSG.” Pepe is known to be very close to make his move official to Paris.

Furthermore, the centre-back insisted: “The club didn’t defend you as they should have done”, touching on Ronaldo’s main complaint in relation to Real Madrid’s handling of his s上海夜生活论坛ituation.Kane: Spurs out of excuses after shock Carabao Cup exit Andrew Smyth – Harry Kane concedes that Tottenham only have themselves to blame following a shock Carabao Cup exit at the hands of Colchester United.

It’s not the first time Pepe is trying to hurt Real Madrid. Being now sure that he will leave in the summer, the Portuguese defender complained publicly about the way he was treated in the last year at Bernabeu, blaming Zidane for the lack of communication.

After having announced his intention to leave Real Madrid, Cristiano Ronaldo is now monitored by top clubs in the world. Besides PSG, Manchester United and Bayern Munich are also interested in the Portuguese forward, who has also attracted interest from China.

However, the player himself seems set on a return to Old Trafford, where Jose Mourinho would like to be reunited to his former player. Ronaldo has always said that Manchester United have remained in his heart.

Guardiola to swap for Aubameyang

Pep Guardiola is already preparing his transfer strategy for the summer and the latest rumours point to a bid for Dortmund’s striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.Written by Cosmin Mihalescu. May 1, 2017.

Manchester City are ready to spend around £250m this summer to build a squad capable of  matching Guardiola’s ambitions. But this does not mean that they will just start throwing money away.

In order to transfer the 27-year-old Gabonese striker, Pep Guardiola is willing to include Kelechi Iheanacho in his bid. The young Nigerian is widely regarded as a hot prospect. His current market value is €10m, while Aubameyang’s market value is €65m. Therefore, in order to force a transfer, City will have to pay at least €55m in addition to offering Iheanacho to Dortmund.Inter Milan V Lazio: Players to 上海夜生活论坛Watch Taimoor Khan – Inter Milan are set to host Lazio at the San Siro on Thursday and the game is definitely going to be an exciting affair…

But in order to land the signature of Aubamenyang, City will have to face competition from PSG and Real Madrid, who have also expressed their interest in the striker. Borussia Dortmund, on the other hand, stated that they are not willing to let Aubamenyang go, not event for €100m.

In the 42 games played for Dortmund this season in all competitions, Aubameyang has scored 35 goals and registered 5 assists.

Exclusive: Google’s jobs search draws antitrust complaints from rivals

BRUSSELS/SAN FRANCISCO ( ) – Google’s fast-growing tool for searching job listings has been a boon for employers and job boards starving for candidates, but several rival job-finding services contend anti-competitive behavior has fueled its rise and cost them users and profits.

In a letter to be sent to European Union competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager on Tuesday and seen by , 23 job search websites in Europe called on her to temporarily order Google to stop playing unfairly while she investigates.

Similar to worldwide leader Indeed and other search services familiar to job seekers, Google’s tool links to postings aggregated from many employers. It lets candidates filter, save and get alerts about openings, though they must go elsewhere to apply.

Alphabet Inc’s Google places a large widget for the 2-year-old tool at the top of results for searches such as “call center jobs” in most of the world.

Some rivals allege that positioning is illegal because Google is using its dominance to attract users to its specialized search offering without the traditional marketing investments they have to make.

Other job technology firms say Google has restored industry innovation and competition.

The tensions expose a new front in the battle between Google and online publishers reliant on search traffic, just as EU and U.S. antitrust regulators heed calls to scrutinize tech giants including Google. Google so far over the last decade has withstood similar accusations from companies in local business and travel search.

Vestager, who has been examining job search on Google, leaves office Oct. 31. But a person familiar with the review told that Vestager is preparing an “intensive” handover so that her successor does not drop it. Her office declined to comment on the handoff.

Lack of action could spur Tuesday’s signatories, which include British site Best Jobs Online to German peers Intermedia and Jobindex, to follow with formal complaints against Google to Vestager, a person familiar with the matter said.

Berlin-based StepStone GmbH, which operates 30 job websites globally, and another German search service already have taken that step, another person said.

The Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice, which are examining online competition in the United States, declined to comment on whether they are probing Google’s jobs search.

Industry executives universally expect that Google will sell ads in the jobs tool, as is typical for its services, enabling the world’s biggest seller of online ads to claw billions of dollars in revenue from rivals.

Google long has been frustrated by other search engines filling its results, because they both add a step in users’ quest for quick information and pose a threat to its ads empire.

Nick Zakrasek, senior product manager for Google search, said that the company welcomed the industry feedback on jobs search. Google said its offering addresses previous antitrust complaints by allowing rival search services to participate and includes a feature in Europe designed to give rivals prominence.

“Any provider – from individual employers to job listing platforms – can utilize this feature in search, and many of them have seen a significant increase in the number of job applications they receive,” Zakrasek said in a statement. “By improving the search experience for jobs, we’re able to deliver more traffic to sites across the web and support a healthy job search ecosystem.”

DIVISIVE TOOL

Google includes jobs only from websites that follow its guidelines, which require postings to be structured such that its computers can easily interpret them. Many leading players have conformed.

For instance, Weston, Massachusetts-based Monster Worldwide Inc has implored customers through training materials to list salary ranges and jobsite addresses on postings in hopes that following Google’s guidelines for such items will generate more clicks.

Monster had lost users in recent years because poor website formatting left it with low placement in regular Google results, its Chief Executive Scott Gutz said. The new tool gave Monster a path back to the top.

“There’s been a leveling of the playing field,” Gutz said.

Google’s widget drew 120 million user clicks in June in the United States alone, about double from August 2017, according to research firm Jumpshot, which receives browsing data from antivirus ap上海夜生活网ps.

Holmdel, New Jersey-based iCIMS Inc, which operates job websites for about 4,000 employers, said Google’s tool is the third largest referrer of visitors to clients’ pages and applicants from it are three times more likely to be hired than those from rival tools, it said.

“What we’re already seeing with Google’s entrance is better matching candidates to jobs,” said Susan Vitale, chief marketing officer for iCIMS.

Frustrated are competitors such as Zippia, a San Mateo, California jobs search startup specializing in career path data. CEO Henry Shao said Google’s jobs tool “pushes down” Zippia content in search results, making it more difficult to attract users unless it invests in following Google’s guidelines.

Zippia lacks the resources to pursue formal complaints, but would aid investigators that call, Shao said.

Larger detractors include StepStone, a unit of media company and long-time Google critic Axel Springer which eschewed Google’s guidelines on most of its jobs websites. Among concerns is that participants are handing over data that could help Google bypass them entirely.

The 23 firms pressing Vestager echoed that worry and said that Google including generic links to competing services high on its European jobs widget was not enough to ensure “equal treatment.”

Austin, Texas-based Indeed, which has not formatted its website to participate in Google’s tool, declined to comment.

Indeed’s traffic from Google has dipped 5% since 2016, according to Jumpshot. It compensated by boosting advertising and pushing new paid offerings, affecting earnings growth, former employees said.

Owner Recruit Holdings Co Ltd forecasts that sales from its Indeed-dominated segment will grow 35% in the year ending March 31, 2020, compared to 50% the year earlier, while adjusted profit margin will be flat.

Eric Liaw, a general partner invested in workplace tech startups at Silicon Valley’s Institutional Venture Partners, said Google has “to be careful about how much air they suck out of the room given the scrutiny they are under.”

House panel, Justice Dept end standoff over Mueller documents

WASHINGTON ( ) – The House Intelligence Committee pulled back on Wednesday from threats to enforce a subpoena against Attorney General William Barr after the Justice Departm上海夜生活论坛ent agreed to turn over materials relating to an investigation into Russian election interference.

The decision ended a standoff between the Democratic-led committee and the Justice Department for access to counterintelligence reports generated by Special Counsel Robert Mueller during his probe of President Donald Trump and his associates.

The dispute, one of many between the Republican administration and the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives, has come as Trump refuses to cooperate with numerous congressional probes into matters ranging from his personal finances and business dealings to Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

“The Department of Justice has accepted our offer of a first step toward compliance with our subpoena, and this week will begin turning over to the Committee twelve categories of counterintelligence and foreign intelligence materials as part of an initial rolling production,” U.S. Representative Adam Schiff, the committee chairman, said on Wednesday.

Schiff canceled a committee meeting to consider enforcement action on Wednesday.

Barr, the top U.S. law enforcement official and a Trump appointee, on May 2 snubbed the House intelligence committee, which voted to hold him in contempt of Congress for not handing over a full, unredacted Mueller report.

In a letter to Schiff on Tuesday, the Justice Department said it was willing to give Intelligence committee members and staff closed-door access to additional material if Schiff does not move forward with his threats to hold the department in contempt.

However, a request to the Justice Department from the Senate Intelligence committee for the same materials was still pending, a congressional source said.

The White House has accused Democrats of playing politics with the congressional probes.

Uber Freight launches in Germany, taking on local competition

FRANKFURT ( ) – U.S. ride-hailing company Uber (UBER.N) is launching a freight platform in Germany, taking on local technology startups in a race to grab a share of Europe’s $500 billion trucking market.

Germany will be Uber Freight’s second market to go live on the continent after the Netherlands, an executive told , with further expansion in prospect once operations are running smoothly in Europe’s largest economy.

In the United States, Uber Freight already connects 48 states and generates more than $125 million in quarterly revenues.

Under maverick founder Travis Kalanick, Uber’s earlier bid to establish its ride-hailing services in Germany met intractable opposition from taxi companies, politicians and the courts.

This time, led by Kalanick’s successor Dara Khosrowshawi, Uber has consulted German officials and industry to win support for its freight business, said Daniel Buczkowski, Uber Freight’s head of European expansion.

“After the change in leadership, we really engaged in doing the right thing,” Buczkowski, who is German, told .

Uber will compete with local players, including Berlin-based startup sennder, which has raised $70 million from private equity house Lakestar and other investors at a $300 million valuation, and which already has a wider presence in Europe.

Other technology players in the freight forwarding sector include Flexport, a full-service platform based in San Francisco that raised $1 billion earlier this year from investors led by Japan’s Softbank Group (9984.T).

UK-based Zencargo and FreightHub, which like sennder is headquartered in Berlin, have also taken in investments of late.

Buczkowski sees Uber Freight’s edge in its worldwide reach and proven technology. “As a global company we have the bandwidth to constantly innovate and create new products and features that support the entire marketplace,” he said.

EMPTY JOURNEYS

The freight platforms aim to digitalize an industry still dominated by firms running 10 or fewer trucks and to improve efficiency – trucks are empty for 21% of the distance they travel.

Other gains can come from real-time tracking of consignments, and the automation of payments in an industry where trucking firms often waste weeks chasing up invoices.

“The key to getting a lot of value out of this industry is understanding how to use those empty kilometers,” said Nicolaus Schefenacker, a co-founder of sennder, which was set up in 2016.

He told that, as its network expanded, it was easier to model and forecast traffic flows to ensure consignments found the right truck at the right price. Although the freight tech sector is crowded, the market is segmented and sennder sees a clear opportunity in the so-called full-truck load market.

“The market is so huge that I think a lot of players are able to coexist. That’s also the way we think about Uber Freight,” Schefenacker told .

MAN IN THE MIDDLE

Unlike Uber’s ride-hailing app or its food-delivery service, Uber Freight will operate as a middle-man in a market with an established pricing structure.

It will make money from the margin between the price paid by the shipper and the amount it pays on to the trucker, insulating it from the type of complaints made by many ride-hailing drivers who say they struggle to earn a decent income.

Uber, with a stock market capitalization of $74 billion, aims to adapt its model used in the United States, where many truck drivers are sole operators, to Europe, where family-run firms predominate.

The apps still face challenges, ranging from environmental issues confronting an industry that runs on diesel to ensuring drivers are not overworked with long hours on the road.

The industry also needs new recruits, with the World Bank estimating two-thirds of German drivers will retire over the next decade, threatening a shortage in cap上海夜生活acity for an industry that handles more than 70% of freight.

Stocks drop as trade dims earnings outlook; Mexican peso tumbles

NEW YORK ( ) – A gauge of stock markets around the world fell on Tuesday as trade tensions weighed on the outlook for corporate earnings, while Mexico’s peso tumbled after the country’s finance minister resigned.

European and U.S. stocks dropped early after Germa上海夜生活网n chemicals giant BASF warned of a 30% fall in its adjusted annual profit, citing trade friction and a global slowdown in growth.

On Wall Street, an analyst downgrade of 3M Co contributed to a drop in the Dow Jones Industrial Average. However, the benchmark S&P 500 index edged higher and the Nasdaq posted gains as the tech-related FAANG stocks rose.

Even so, MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe shed 0.10%.

The Mexican peso slid as much as 2.25% against the dollar after Finance Minister Carlos Urzua resigned, citing deep differences over economic issues. It was last down 1.2%.

Some encouraging news on trade came as the United States and China were set to relaunch talks this week after a two-month hiatus. White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said talks with the European Union to move forward on a trade agreement were also in progress.

However, skepticism remained among market participants on how much progress the United States and China have made toward resolving their differences.

“A resolution to the trade war is far off,” said Oliver Pursche, chief market strategist at Bruderman Asset Management in New York. “I wouldn’t be surprised if it went into 2020.”

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 22.65 points, or 0.08%, to 26,783.49, the S&P 500 gained 3.68 points, or 0.12%, to 2,979.63 and the Nasdaq Composite added 43.35 points, or 0.54%, to 8,141.73.

Benchmark 10-year notes last fell 8/32 in price to yield 2.0613%, from 2.034% late on Monday.

The potential reaction to monetary policy at the world’s top central banks also remained in focus ahead of Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s testimony before the U.S. Congress on Wednesday and Thursday.

Money market futures are still fully pricing in a 25-basis-point cut at the Fed’s July 30-31 meeting, but have almost priced out a larger half-percentage-point move that had been seen as a real possibility just a couple of weeks ago.

“There may be some clarity coming out in the next couple of days based on what Powell says at these hearings,” said Bucky Hellwig, senior vice president at BB&T Wealth Management.

(GRAPHIC – U.S. government debt yield curve: tmsnrt.rs/2YHFE1M)

In currency markets, Britain’s sterling dropped to a six-month low and was last 0.4% lower against the dollar at $1.2462 amid a worsening economic outlook and rising fears about a no-deal exit for Britain from the European Union.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, rose 0.13%, while the euro dipped 0.1% to $1.1206.

Oil prices firmed as OPEC supply cuts and Middle East tensions outweighed the U.S.-China trade dispute that has been dragging down the global economy and oil demand.

Brent crude futures settled up 5 cents to $64.16. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude settled up 17 cents to $57.83.

Spot gold ticked 0.1% higher to $1,397.06 an ounce.

(GRAPHIC – Dot plot, Fed funds futures July 9: tmsnrt.rs/2YLmEzm)