Tuesday, May 16, 2017

WSJ City: Fears of a New Era in Cyberattacks, Trump Shared Intelligence Secrets With Russians

Good morning from the WSJ City desks in London. WSJ City is the app that delivers fast, smart news on mobile for London. Download for iPhone or Android. Here’s essential reading on today’s developments.


The cyberattack that hit companies and government agencies world-wide over the weekend largely abated Monday, but investigators were still trying to understand how the worm managed to spread in the first place, amid fears the attack may signal the dawn of a new era in computer intrusions. WSJ City 

The major global cyberattack held to ransom the computer files of more than 200,000 victims worldwide. The hackers’ apparent proceeds? $51,000 in bitcoin they may hesitate to tap. WSJ City 

President Donald Trump shared sensitive intelligence obtained from a close US ally with Russia’s foreign minister and ambassador in a meeting last week, according to US officials, potentially jeopardising critical intelligence-sharing agreements in the fight against Islamic State. WSJ City 

Activist investor Elliott Management refined its attack on BHP Billiton, calling for an independent review of its petroleum business and deflecting earlier criticism by proposing the company retain a main stock listing in Australia. WSJ City 

Some investors now fear that there isn’t enough fear, writes James Mackintosh in his Streetwise column. Investor complacency is a sensible thing to be concerned about after a long bull market. But we should be clear about what the VIX — the CBOE Volatility Index, which is hitting superlow levels — is telling us. WSJ City 

They don’t make IPOs like they used to. When went public 20 years ago, it had a market capitalisation of $660 million. It’s since grown into a $460 billion e-commerce giant. WSJ City 


Polls have found that Brexit has driven a wedge between Labour and the Leave camp, with the worst scenario showing 1 in 3 eurosceptic Labour voters shunning the party at the forthcoming election. FT (£)

Angela Merkel signalled new openness to far-reaching changes to fortify the EU as she met with Emmanuel Macron on his first full day as French President. WSJ

JP Morgan has paid €125 million for an office block in Dublin that will house 1,000 workers as part of its Brexit contingency plans. The Times (£)

Labour’s election manifesto will include a plan to charge firms with a 2.5% levy on personal earnings above £330,000 and 5% on those above £500,000. FT (£)

Vladimir Putin blamed US intelligence services for a global cyberattack that struck Russian computer systems hard, attempting to reverse a narrative that has placed the Kremlin at the centre of blame for politically charged hacking. WSJ 


European shares are likely to stutter at Tuesday’s open after recent gains which have pushed German, UK and US indexes to record highs.

The euro extended its rally in Asia, however, after Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron pledged to co-operate on a “road map” of pro-growth economic reforms for the EU.

“It’s tough to be anything else other than bullish on risk assets at the moment and while implied volatility is extremely low global equity markets continue to creep higher,” wrote IG’s Chris Weston.

Major US benchmarks rose on Monday, boosted by a surge in commodities prices, with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq hitting fresh highs.

The bullish tone wasn’t repeated in Asia this morning, however, despite further upside for oil. There were modest gains in Japan and Australia but Chinese stocks were markedly lower following Monday’s disappointing economic data.


April inflation figures; data for RPI, PPI, and house prices.

May 16, 2017 at 12:13PM

from Philip Georgiadis