Monday, May 15, 2017

WSJ City: Cyber Attacks May Spread, Bitcoin Role In Focus, Workers Face Wage Squeeze

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Cybersecurity experts are expecting another wave of computer-system attacks that encrypt files and demand ransom to unlock them on Monday, as companies and government agencies are seeking to restore normal operations and figure out the roots of the attack. WSJ City

In the wake of cyberattacks that demanded payment in bitcoin, new attention is being focused on the digital currency’s role in hacking and illegal money movements. WSJ City

UK workers should brace for a ‘rockier period’ over the next two years, with unemployment set to rise and wage growth stuck at stubbornly low levels, according to a report by economic think tank EY Item Club. WSJ City

Emmanuel Macron will spend his first full day as president of France in Berlin visiting German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The symbolism could hardly be clearer, writes WSJ’s chief European commentator Simon Nixon. WSJ City

Ultra-long bonds are under active consideration at the US Treasury Department. But for the Treasury to issue 40-year, 50-year or 100-year bonds, or for investors to consider buying them, it would help to know the price. WSJ City

Here’s what economists think would happen to the US economy if Donald Trump’s full budget agenda – which will come later this month – were to be implemented. WSJ City

Oil production cuts carried out by OPEC members have helped US shale to rebound far more quickly than expected, writes Spencer Jakab for Heard on the Street. WSJ City


Theresa May has promised to give employees up to a year off work to care for ill or disabled family members in what she claims is the “greatest extension of rights and protections for employees by any Conservative government.” The Times (£)

Research has found that almost half of European businesses with UK suppliers are seeking replacements elsewhere in the EU. The Times (£)

International banks are braced for Brexit costs running into “hundreds of millions” with US, Swiss and Asian firms likely to be hardest hit. FT (£)

Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union beat the centre-left Social Democrats in the regional election Sunday in Germany’s biggest state, providing a major boost to the German leader ahead of national elections in September. WSJ


The FTSE 100 extended its recent rally on Monday with another sharp rise in oil prices offsetting a weak US lead and global tensions.

The UK index of leading shares, which closed at a record high on Friday, was up 0.2% in early trading, led by commodity producers. Europe’s Stoxx 600 index was up a similar amount.

Over the weekend, North Korea tested a new type of long-range ballistic missile, and a global cyberattack hit computers in business, government and health care. Asian markets largely brushed aside these worries on Monday, but trading was subdued with major benchmarks in Japan and Australia posting minor losses while indexes in Hong Kong and China managed to carve out modest gains.

Oil futures jumped nearly 1.5% as top energy officials in Saudi Arabia and Russia anticipate a nine-month extension to the current production-cut deal led by OPEC. The bounce further erased May’s price declines.

May 15, 2017 at 01:12PM

from Rebecca Byrne