Source: blogs.wsj.com

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.


MUST READS FROM WSJ CITY


A major bitcoin theft from a cryptocurrency-mining service called NiceHash has prompted it to shut down for at least 24 hours. As much as $66 million may have been stolen in the hack. But that hasn’t stopped Bitcoin from surging past $14,000 for the first time ever on Thursday.


Chinese banks may have insufficient capital to weather potential losses from the nation’s rapidly mounting credit risks, the International Monetary Fund said, in a broad review of China’s financial system.


Gambling groups Ladbrokes Coral and GVC have announced they are in detailed merger talks. The two companies said in a statement Thursday that Ladbrokes Coral has received an offer from GVC which would give it a maximum equity value of £3.9 billion.


Goldman Sachs and Barclays each will lend $20 billion to back CVS Health’s takeover of Aetna, according to a regulatory filing. That puts them into an exclusive club—pretty much inhabited only by JP Morgan Chase—of big banks able to write cheques of that size.


Ford plans to produce a future electric car in Mexico rather than make it in the US, reversing plans announced in January to make its Flat Rock, Michigan, assembly plant near Detroit its main electric-vehicle production site.


Some major companies will cease to be technology’ stocks next year, a development that will send ripples to far corners of the investing world. Facebook and Alphabet could move into a revamped telecommunications sector as part of a broader reshuffling that will radically alter the complexion of more than two dozen exchange-traded funds.


It’s been a rough week or so for technology shares, which have been the victim of a violent rotation that’s seen investors flee what’s been by far the hottest sector of 2017, Marketwatch reports.


Investors are expected to pay closer attention to potential cases of sexual harassment during the US proxy season, mindful that some institutional investors are now factoring it in to assessments of risk, Barron’s reports.


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IN THE PAPERS


The impasse on Ireland has faded hopes of a swift Brexit divorce deal, with Theresa May’s call to the DUP failing to break the deadlock. FT (£)


Philip Hammond has said the UK must pay a £40 billion Brexit bill ‘even if trade talks fail,’ angering Tory eurosceptics. The Times (£)


Jean-Claude Juncker will extend the deadline for Theresa May to settle a dispute over the Irish border to the eve of next Thursday’s EU summit, as he fears the prime minister will lose power without a Brexit deal. The Telegraph


Chinese insurer Ping An has raised its stake in HSBC to more than 5%, making it one of the bank’s biggest investors. FT (£)


The UK will not have to pay an upfront lump sum Brexit bill, according to a draft agreement text of a joint agreement with the EU. Politico


The latest polls have revealed that the public still backs Brexit but an increasing number of Britons expect any trade deal to be a bad one. FT (£)


Walt Disney’s chief executive will likely stay on past his 2019 retirement date if the company wins its bid to buy the entertainment assets of 21st Century Fox. WSJ


Citigroup said it is likely to take a hit of about $20 billion to profits under the tax plans recently passed by Congress. WSJ


MARKETS TODAY


European equities nudged higher at the open on Thursday following gains in Asia and a modest bounce in oil prices which had tumbled in New York trade.


The Stoxx Europe 600 opened 0.1% higher, bouncing back from a second consecutive day of losses. London’s FTSE 100 was also 0.1% higher, while sterling fell 0.1% against the US dollar and euro with no sign of a Brexit agreement over Ireland.


Shares in bookmaker Ladbrokes Coral rose more than 25% after it announced it is in merger talks with GVC, whose shares were up 5%.


COMING UP


EU Q3 growth figures


MPs visit Northern Ireland to discuss Brexit



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