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Frontrunning: October 1

  • After Rough Quarter, Investors Buckle Up (WSJ)
  • From heroes to bystanders? Central banks' growth challenge (Reuters)
  • Russian Airstrike in Syria Targeted CIA-Backed Rebels, U.S. Officials Say (WSJ)
  • Kremlin says Syria air strikes target list of groups, not just Islamic State (Reuters)
  • That’s information warfare? Russia accused of killing civilians in Syria (RT)
  • Euro zone factory growth eases in August despite modest price rises (Reuters)
  • How Glencore's Crazy Month Makes Greek Banks Look Tame (BBG)
  • China Begins Disclosing Reserves to IMF (WSJ)
  • Hurricane Joaquin to bring storm surge to Bahamas: U.S. monitor (Reuters)
  • Ousted Brookings economist lashes back at Warren (Hill)
  • BOE Says Market May Be Underpricing Risks of Falling Liquidity (BBG)
  • Hillary Clinton aides worried about private email use in 2011 (Reuters)
  • Hillary Clinton Emails Had a Two-Month Gap (WSJ)
  • VW Workforce Starts to Feel Pinch From Diesel-Emissions Scandal (BBG)
  • VW seeks to boost finances to meet emission scandal costs (Reuters)
  • Children of the Yuan Percent: Everyone Hates China’s Rich Kids (BBG)

 

Overnight Media Digest

WSJ

- The long-serving chief executive of Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd and an architect of the lender's expansion into Asia, Mike Smith, will step down at the end of the year. He will be succeeded by Shayne Elliott, the bank's chief financial officer. (http://on.wsj.com/1JEAQde)

- Russia launched airstrikes in Syria on Wednesday, catching U.S. and Western officials off guard and drawing new condemnation as evidence suggested Moscow wasn't targeting extremist group Islamic State, but rather other opponents of Bashar al-Assad's regime. (http://on.wsj.com/1hcl7eE)

- China has begun to report its currency reserves to the International Monetary Fund for the first time-a milestone in opening a key facet of the country's economy to the public view. The move comes as Beijing seeks to have its currency, the yuan, included in the basket of reserve currencies that comprise the fund's lending instrument. (http://on.wsj.com/1JEB9os)

- Indonesia's handling of the bidding for its first high-speed train, with reversals and mixed messages to Japan and China, added to the confusion foreign companies face. After months of bids, revisions, and talks among presidents and prime ministers-even a short-lived cancellation of the project-Japan said this week that Indonesia picked China for the $5 billion project. (http://on.wsj.com/1QLYsSQ)

- Two measures of the health of China's struggling manufacturing industry point to persisting headwinds for the world's second-largest economy. While September's official purchasing managers index registered a modest improvement over August's results, the gauge of factory activity also showed that manufacturing continued to contract at a time when the world is increasingly focused on China's growth prospects. (http://on.wsj.com/1M2LnAN)

- Afghan troops recaptured the northern city of Kunduz from the Taliban early Thursday, officials and residents said. Afghan troops had on Wednesday night launched a counteroffensive against militants who had stormed the city days earlier. (http://on.wsj.com/1MI7aki)

 

FT

On Wednesday, Google and Microsoft settled about 20 patent lawsuits concerning their mobile platforms. The patent wars started after Google acquired Motorola in 2012 to amass a patent portfolio and protect Android from legal attacks.

Three of the biggest U.S. hedge funds - Bill Ackman's Pershing Square <IPO-PERS.L>, Jeff Ubben's ValueAct, and John Paulson's Paulson & Co - have suffered heavy losses thanks to a sell-off in the shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals.

U.S. chief banking regulator cleared a $3.7 bln merger between M&T Bank of New York and Hudson City Bancorp of New Jersey, paving the way for a consolidation in the scattered banking landscape.

British manufacturing has fallen to a six-year low, pointing to signs of an extended period of stagnation and weak demand from overseas.

 

NYT

- The Mexican government put five oil production blocks up for auction on Wednesday and awarded three, a much more successful outcome than the first such auction in July. This was well above the average for similar auctions in Latin America. (http://nyti.ms/1VoF4SB)

- The slump in China's sprawling manufacturing sector continued to worsen in September, data released on Thursday showed, the latest sign that the country's economic slowdown appears to be sharpening. (http://nyti.ms/1iMYAX7)

- Trade ministers for the United States and 11 other Pacific nations gathered in Atlanta on Wednesday to try to reach agreement on the largest regional free-trade pact ever. But differences persist, and antitrade blasts from American presidential candidates have not eased prospects for any deal. (http://nyti.ms/1hcunQ1)

- A court on Wednesday postponed the trial of two French executives from Uber who are facing criminal charges of illegally organizing taxi services through the company's low-cost UberPop service. (http://nyti.ms/1P6yVoT)

- The head of the International Monetary Fund said on Wednesday that global growth would probably be weaker this year as the world economy confronts a host of problems, including a refugee crisis in Europe, an economic slowdown in China and a pending rise in United States interest rates. (http://nyti.ms/1LltkLT)

- The mining giant Rio Tinto said Wednesday that it had agreed to sell its 40 percent stake in an Australian coal mine for $606 million as it seeks to reduce debt by selling assets as commodity prices are mired in a global slump. (http://nyti.ms/1KSXosK)

 

Britain

The Times

Britain has grown faster than any other leading economy since 2013 after bouncing back from recession far more strongly than had been thought, according to data published by the Office of National Statistics. (http://thetim.es/1MHlZUd)

Begbies Traynor Group PLC, the London-listed insolvency firm, has bought the assets of its regional rival P&A Partnership out of administration. (http://thetim.es/1MHnTUF)

The Guardian

Paul Fisher, deputy head of the Bank of England's regulatory arm, has warned of the risk of bowing to pressure from lobbyists in the banking industry who want to see a relaxation of rules introduced since the banking crisis. (http://bit.ly/1MHmUUo)

Tony Hayward, chairman of Glencore PLC, has put his hand in his pocket to buy some shares. He's splashed out the mighty sum of, well, nearly 91,000 pounds ($137,601.10). (http://bit.ly/1MHn7XR)

The Telegraph

The Institute of Directors, which represents thousands of top bosses across Britain, slammed Transport for London's plans to ban many of Uber's key features, saying they would "embed economic inefficiency" in the capital's transport regulation. (http://bit.ly/1MHnYb2)

The divide between house prices in the North and South of England has hit a record high, exceeding 150,000 pounds for the first time. Average prices in the South are now more than twice as high as those in the North - at 303,811 pounds and 150,851 pounds respectively - according to the latest Nationwide House Price Index. (http://bit.ly/1MHo823)

Sky News

The electrification of two rail lines, TransPennine Express Railway between Manchester and York and the Midland Mainline from London to Sheffield, which will lead to quicker journey times for thousands of passengers, is to go ahead after being stopped earlier this year. (http://bit.ly/1MHog1A)

Glasgow-based Home Energy and Lifestyle Management has been fined 200,000 pounds by the Information Commissioner's Office after making more than six million automated calls offering 'free' solar panels. (http://bit.ly/1MHouWr)

The Independent

Online supermarket Ocado Group PLC has angered its customers by announcing it will be charging 5 pence for grocery bags, without giving shoppers the chance to opt out. (http://ind.pn/1MHoANK)