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FCA-Renault deal hopes aid European shares

( ) – Strong Chinese export data and the U.S.-Mexico deal to avoid new import tariffs bolstered the mood on European stock markets on Monday, while car company shares also got a lift from signs of moves to revive Fiat-Chrysler and Renault’s merger.

The pan-regional STOXX 600 index rose 0.4% by 0805 GMT, with trading volumes thinned out by the Whit Monday holiday in Germany, Switzerland, Austria and most Nordic countries.

The auto sector gained 0.5% on signs that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV and Renault SA were looking for ways to resuscitate their collapsed merger plan and secure the approval of Nissan Motor Co.

Fiat Chrysler and Renault’s shares were both up about 2% after sources close to the companies told they were back in discussions on ways to revive the deal.

“We believe it is too early to talk about negotiations being re-opened,” Equita analyst Emanuele Gallazzi wrote in a note.

“Today’s news together with the hypotheses discussed in various press sources relating to alternative scenarios for FCA, including GM, Hyundai and Geely, keep high the speculative appeal of the stock.”

President Donald Trump on Friday retreated on last month’s shock threat of a 5% import tariff on all Mexican goods in exchange for moves on immigration, providing relief to investors worried that a second major U.S. trade dispute would drive the globa上海夜生活网l economy into recession.

“Markets are blowing small celebratory bubbles this morning,” Deutsche Bank analysts said in a note.

Trade tensions between the U.S. and China still lingered, with Group of 20 finance leaders saying that trade and geopolitical tensions have raised risks to improving global growth while stopping short of calling for a resolution of the conflict.

Adding to gains was some residual buying after weak U.S. nonfarm payrolls data on Friday that spurred hopes of the Federal Reserve cutting interest rates.

Concerns over the pace of growth in the world’s major economies drove a nearly 6% fall in European stock markets in May, their worst month in more than two years, but have been countered since by hopes of new stimulus from central banks to head off the threat.

Among other stocks, BAE Systems gained 1% on hopes of further deal making in the aerospace and defense space after United Technologies Corp agreed on Sunday to combine its aerospace business with U.S. contractor Raytheon Co, in what would be the sector’s biggest ever merger.

Thomas Cook’s shares jumped 15% after a report that Hong Kong’s Fosun Tourism was in talks to buy its tour operating business as the British group faces breakup after issuing three profit warnings in the past year.

Ferguson Plc fell 4% after the British plumbing products distributor’s third quarter revenue missed analysts’ estimates.

High-yield junk market still attractive: top bond manager Margaret Patel

NEW YORK ( ) – The gains in high-yield junk bonds are not over, thanks to the Federal Reserve’s supportive stance on monetary policy, Margaret Patel, one of the mutual-fund industry’s longest tenured and most well-known bond managers, said on Tuesday.

“The risk-taker will be rewarded,” Patel, a senior portfolio manager at Wells Fargo Asset Management, said at the New York headquarters of . The ICE Merrill Lynch U.S. high-yield index has posted returns of 8.92% so fa上海夜生活论坛r this year. Patel’s Wells Fargo High Yield Bond fund is up 8.68% for the same period.

“I see a downward drift in yields in junk bonds,” she said.

Patel, who has more than 40 years’ experience in the business, said the Fed will not be cutting off liquidity and could, in fact, slash interest rates this year. The Fed’s potential cuts will trigger another wave of gains and access to credit for high-yield companies, which issue debt with less-than-stellar credit ratings called junk bonds.

“Why should junk bond spreads be 450 basis points over Treasuries if defaults are a needle in a haystack? Makes no sense,” Patel said.

The economy is slowing down but not to the point of recessionary levels, Patel said. She characterizes the economic backdrop as marked by “low inflation, modest growth, low interest rates and low volatility.”

As a result, junk bond returns will continue to be modest for a number of years, Patel said. She favors the industrial, healthcare and technology sectors.

For their part, U.S. equities “could definitely move higher,” she added.

After starting as an equities analyst, Patel eventually became a portfolio manager where her reputation rose primarily on the bond side. Before joining Pioneer Investments in 1999, Patel had started a bond fund for Third Avenue’s fund family. It was later acquired by the Boston asset manager.

Highlights: The Trump presidency on April 13 at 9:30 P.M. EDT/0130 GMT on Friday

( ) – Highlights for U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration on Thursday:

AFGHANISTAN

The United States drops a massive GBU-43 bomb, the largest non-nuclear bomb it has ever used in combat, in Afghanistan against a series of caves used by Islamic State militants, the Pentagon says.

NORTH KOREA

Trump says Pyongyang is a problem that “will be taken care of” amid speculation that North Korea is on the verge of a sixth nuclear test.

Military force cannot resolve tension over North Korea, China warns, while an influential Chinese newspaper urges Pyongyang to halt its nuclear program in exchange for Beijing’s protection.

The Trump administration is focusing its North Korea strategy on tougher economic sanctions, possibly including intercepting cargo ships and punishing Chinese banks doing business with Pyongyang, U.S. officials say.

RUSSIA

Trump says “things will work out fine” between the United States and Russia, a day after declaring U.S.-Russian relations may be at an all-time low.

FEDERAL RESERVE

Trump signals he could be moving closer to the mainstream on monetary policy, saying he has not ruled out reappointment of Janet Yellen as Federal Reserve chair as he considers his choices for the U.S. central bank. [nL1N1HL14B]

ABORTION

Trump signs a resolution that will allow U.S. states to restrict how federal funds for contraception and reproductive health are spent, a move cheered by anti-abortion campaigners.

DEUTSCHE BANK

Democratic Senator Chris Van Hollen presses Deutsche Bank to release information about issues including Trump’s debt and any bank meetings with Trump administration officials, saying he has “great concern” about possible conflicts of interest.

EXPORT-IMPORT BANK

Trump’s office says he plans to revive the hobbled Export-Import Bank of the United States, a victory for American manufacturers such as Boeing Co and General Electric Co that have overseas customers that use the agency’s government-backed loans to purchase their products.

FINANCIAL REGULATION

Top Wall Street bankers say they are having positive discussions about financial regulation in Washington, and downplay the idea U.S. policymakers may force their institutions to split up.

TRADE WITH JAPAN

The United States is pushing for trade to be a key issue in top-level economic talks with Japan, a source says, an unwelcome development for Tokyo, which is seeking to fend off U.S. pressure to reduce the bilateral trade imbalance.

IMMIGRATION

Trump’s administration has focused on one group of illegal immigrants more than others: women with children, according to eight Department of Homeland Security officials interv上海夜生活论坛iewed by about agency planning.

RPT-Fear and fervour propel Shanghai’s tech board amid trade, Huawei tensions

(Repeats with no change to text)

* Huawei ban, trade war fuel patriotic support for the new board

* 120 firms seeking to list, aiming to raise total of $16 bln

* About 100 tech-focused funds awaiting regulatory approval

* Venture capitalists scrambling to grab share of pre-IPO funding

By Samuel Shen and Josh Horwitz

SHANGHAI, June 11 ( ) – Chinese companies and investors are lining up in spades to take part in Shanghai’s new Nasdaq-style tech board, with a groundswell of patriotic support surging further after the U.S. blacklisting of telecom firm Huawei inflamed tr上海夜生活ade tensions.

In the two months since the application period began, 120 firms – many in industries such as semiconductors, artificial intelligence and biotech – have sought permission to list, aiming to raise a combined $16 billion.

By comparison, IPOs on Shanghai’s main bourse last year raised $11.7 billion while those on the Shenzhen exchange raised $8 billion, according to Refinitiv data.

On the investment side, there’s been a rush to launch tech-focused mutual funds, with about 100 currently seeking approval, data from the China Securities Regulatory Commission shows. Since late May, 12 such funds targeting the new board, each with a fundraising cap of 1 billion yuan ($145 million), have been launched.

The first mainland China exchange-run board to not make profitability a listing requirement, Shanghai’s Sci-tech Innovation Board was announced suddenly by President Xi Jinping in November and is widely seen as Beijing’s latest move to become self-sufficient in core technologies such as chips.

Those ambitions, highlighted by the government’s “Made in China 2025” campaign launched four years ago, have now taken on added urgency as the trade war with Washington and anxiety about its impact escalate.

“The trade war is no longer simply about China importing more soybeans, or reducing trade deficits,” Shi Donghui, director of the Shanghai Stock Exchange’s Capital Market Institute told a financial forum last month after U.S-China trade talks collapsed.

“It’s essentially a tug of war around industry supply chains and core technologies,” he said, adding that as the two economic powers vie for tech supremacy, exchange staff were working day and night seven days a week to make the new board a success.

PATRIOTIC ENTHUSIASM

Washington’s ban in May on U.S. firms doing business with Huawei without government approval highlighted gaps in China’s tech prowess and has fuelled patriotic enthusiasm for the board.

If the new board can foster internationally competitive technologies, “Trump will no longer be able to choke us,” said Zhou Xiangyong, general manager of Guotai Asset Management, a Shanghai-based mutual fund house.

“China must turn external pressure into internal drive,” said Pan Jiang, CEO at private fund manager Shanghai V-Invest Co, which recently launched eight funds targeting the new board.

China Galaxy Securities estimates domestic mutual fund houses alone could pump more than $40 billion into the board, with about a third of that coming from new funds launching over the next six months.

In addition to allowing loss-making firms to list, the new board is doing away with paternalistic guidance from regulators on IPO pricing and timing – developments that have some bankers and investors calling it China’s boldest market reform yet.

A formal launch date has not been announced but investment bankers have said they expect it to start operating either late this month or in early July.

For Yuan Guowei, founder and CEO of big data startup Shanghai HyperS Data Technology Inc, being able to list while still loss-making is an opportunity not to be missed.

“We see U.S. companies which keep expanding aggressively despite losses. We couldn’t do that in the past, as we want to go public and struggled to balance expansion and making a profit,” he said.

Compared to the United States, stock market investment in China’s tech sector has been low, in part due to stricter listing requirements around profitability.

Tech companies account for roughly 11% of total market value in China’s stock markets, which are heavily weighted toward the financial sector, according to China Securities Index Co. In contrast, IT firms account for nearly 30% of the S&P 500’s market capitalisation, Refinitiv data shows.

Channeling investor money into homegrown technologies via the tech board could also help defuse U.S. criticism over the opaque shareholding structure of some Chinese firms and massive state subsidies for the tech sector, analysts said.

Foreign investors, however, are not expected to have much initial involvement in the new board. There are as yet no plans for it to be part of the cross-border Connect scheme, while overseas investors participating in the QFII investment scheme for mainland stocks tend to buy blue-chip shares due to their limited research capabilities in China.

VENTURE CAPITAL SCRAMBLE

The big unknown, however, is just how successful the new board will be in the long term.

China’s other startup boards have mostly languished despite a wellspring of excitement in their early days. Often speculation sent prices soaring, but those prices later collapsed spectacularly, souring investor sentiment to a point from which it never recovered.

The new tech board “is being propelled directly by China’s top decision-makers, so it has to succeed. It cannot afford to fail,” said Fu Ziheng, economist at China Fortune Securities.

“But there’s a lot of uncertainty ahead….and technology innovation does not happen overnight.”

High-profile companies planning to list on the new board include Beijing Kingsoft Office Software Inc, China’s biggest provider of officer software controlled by Xiaomi Corp founder Lei Jun, as well as chip sector firm Advanced Micro-Fabrication Equipment Inc.

For a factbox on some of the companies planning to list please click.

Excitement surrounding prospective candidates is so high that venture capitalists interested in pre-IPO financing say they need to move quickly on due diligence or lose out to the competition, particularly in strategic industries such as chips.

“When companies conduct pre-IPO financing, you may have to make decisions in 1-2 weeks, which is very demanding for the investment team. Previously, such decisions were made over 1-2 months,” said Feng Sicheng, an investment manager at private equity firm GP Capital who specialises in the chip sector. ($1 = 6.9082 Chinese yuan)

Trump presidency to create high anxiety among Asian allies

TOKYO/SEOUL ( ) – Republican Donald Trump’s victory in the U.S. presidential election will deepen Asian allies’ anxiety about Washington’s commitment to post-war security arrangements in the face of a rising China and volatile North Korea, and could bolster calls from conservatives in Tokyo for a more robust defense policy.

Trump’s “America First” rhetoric and calls for allies to pay more of the cost for U.S. troops in the region or face their possible withdrawal have worried officials in some Asian capitals. So has his opposition to a 12-nation pan-Pacific trade pact that was a linchpin of Washington’s “pivot” to the region.

“We should expect dramatic changes in the security environment,” said South Korea’s ruling Saenuri Party floor leader Chung Jin-suk in parliament on Wednesday.

But he added: “In any case, there should not be any wavering in the Korea-U.S. military alliance, which has been the foundation of prosperity of this country.”

A Japanese government official, speaking before Trump clinched the election, urged the new president to send a reassuring message.

“The new president-elect should as soon as possible issue a statement reassuring the rest of the world that the strong commitment of the United States to its allies … remains strong and reliable,” said the official, who declined to be identified.

“We are certainly concerned about the comments (Trump) has made to date about the alliance and the U.S. role in the Pacific, particularly Japan,” the Japanese official said, although he added Trump’s policies might not match his rhetoric.

Trump has made several comments that disturbed Washington’s Asian allies, from insisting they must foot more of the two-way defense bill to suggesting it might be alright for Tokyo and Seoul develop nuclear arms capability.

FOOTING THE BILL

In an article criticizing U.S. President Barack Obama’s “pivot” to Asia as “talking loudly but carrying a small stick” two Trump advisors said he would beef up the U.S. Navy while asserting it was “only fair” that Seoul and Tokyo pay more for defense.

“There is no question of Trump’s commitment to America’s Asian alliances as bedrocks of stability in the region,” wrote University of California professor Peter Navarro and Alexander Gray, a former advisor to U.S. politician Randy Forbes, in the article, which appeared in the Nov. 7 edition of Foreign Policy.

The article also criticized the Obama administration for failing to halt China’s aggressive maritime activities in the East and South China Seas, where Beijing has territorial rows with several countries in the region.

Trump has called for more ships for the U.S. Navy. The “mere initiation of the Trump naval program will reassure our allies that the United States remains committed in the long term to its traditional role as guarantor of the liberal order in Asia”, the authors said.

Trump’s approach to the North Asia security alliances could spark calls in Japan for a more independent security stance, although serious talk of acquiring nuclear weapons is unlikely to emerge in the only nation to suffer atomic bombings.

“I think they will have more legitimacy,” said a Japanese diplomat, referring to those seeking a more robust security stance. “But the Japanese public is reluctant to go in that direction and we don’t have the capacity in terms of budget or (military) personnel.”

TPP NOT JUST TRADE

Asian allies who joined the 12-nation Tran-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal, a linchpin of Obama’s Asia pivot, now fear the pact is dead, given Trump’s harsh opposition.

That has implications not only for trade, but security, since Washington and Tokyo had seen the TPP as way of creating a new regional rule-based architecture to counter China.

“TPP was not just a trade deal, it was the United States and Japan, together … these countries with shared values would create an advanced regional order with not just economic, but diplomatic and security implications,” said Toshihiro Nakayama, a professor at Keio University in Tokyo.

“It was a symbol of America being committed to the region.”

Singapore-based security expert Tim Huxley warned of a period of potentially destabilizing uncertainty ahead as the region waits for clearer strategic signs of precisely what a Trump presidency would mean for Asia.

“Unless Trump speaks reassuringly and soothingly about the continued U.S. presence and commitment to the region, I won’t be surprised to see long-held doubts awoken in the minds of many Asian leaders about the durability of the traditional U.S. role,” he said.

Policy-makers expect it will take considerable time for Trump to work out personnel appointments and get down to policy formation. Divisive U.S. politics could also slow things down. That could mean a worrisome vacuum, but also suggests no quick, dramatic changes are in store.

“It will take about half a year for Mr. Trump to firm up his foreign policies. He only has a transitio上海夜生活网n team of about 200 people and his first focus will be domestic policy,” said Masashi Adachi, head of the Japanese ruling Liberal Democratic Party’s foreign policy panel.

“I don’t think there will be a big change in his stance toward Japan. He has said the Japan-U.S. alliance is important. What he is talking about is details like increasing what Japan pays for U.S. troops in Japan,” Adachi added.

Wall Street weekahead: U.S. funds focus on media stocks, banks to find value as mid-caps rally

NEW YORK ( ) – The S&P 400 Mid-Cap index has surged to its best start to a year since 1991, both rewarding fund managers and forcing them to work harder to seek out bargains in a group that is now the most expensive part of the U.S. market based on their historical averages.

The rally in mid-cap stocks – companies with a market valuation between $2 billion and $10 billion – has come during a broad rally in global stock markets as investors price in a resolution in the trade talks between the United States and China and fewer interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve.

Mid-caps are up 14 percent for the year to date and sport an average price-to-earnings ratio of 16.9 times forward earnings, for their highest valuation premiums to small-cap stocks since 2017, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch research.

Yet fund managers from Janus Henderson, Hotchkis & Wiley, and Fairpointe Capital are among those who are still finding values by concentrating on financial, energy and media stocks and eschewing the high-priced real estate investment trusts and utility companies that make up nearly a fifth of the benchmark index.

“The window for the big bargain bin was the fourth quarter and that was about it,” said Kevin Preloger, a portfolio manager of the $3.3 billion Janus Henderson Mid Cap Value fund. “We’re looking for companies that have good balance sheets and good cash flow, but the tough part is reasonable valuations.”

Preloger’s fund i上海夜生活网s finding them in financial companies such as M&T Bank Corp and Hartford Financial Services Group Inc that are increasing their stock buybacks at the same time they have been beating analysts’ earnings expectations. Shares of M&T, for instance, are up 20.8 percent since the start of the year and trade at a forward price-to-earnings ratio of 11.8.

“Financials are the cheapest sector in the space, and their earnings are also growing,” Preloger said.

Stanley Majcher, a portfolio manager of the $1.4 billion Hotchkis & Wiley Mid-Cap Value fund, is buying into overlooked financial and energy stocks because he considers them less risky than utility companies or REITs with higher valuations.

“Energy is very out of favor and there’s a perception that it’s a risky business because oil prices are likely to be low for a long period of time because of the market share war between OPEC and the U.S.,” he said. “But we see low volatility of demand and more discipline on the supply side.”

Among its largest holdings, Majcher’s fund has several energy companies, including Whiting Petroleum Corp, Kosmos Energy Ltd and Ophir Energy PLC, according to Morningstar data, with mixed results for the year to date. Shares of Whiting are up 12.4 percent year-to-date, while shares of Ophir are up nearly 53 percent over the same time.

Thyra Zerhusen, a portfolio manager of the $2.6 billion AMG Managers Fairpointe Mid Cap fund, said her fund is finding opportunities in media stocks such as broadcast company Tegna Inc, which was spun off of Gannett Co, magazine and local broadcasting company Meredith Corp, and New York Times Co, all of which should see a significant boost in revenues from the 2020 presidential and congressional elections, she said.

“With everybody running for president, the political advertising goes to these smaller market stations. Newspapers are almost non-existent now,” except for the New York Times, which continues to grow its digital subscriptions, she said.

She is also adding opportunistic positions in companies such as Westinghouse Air Brake Technologies Corp, which completed its merger with the transportation unit of General Electric Co on Feb. 25. Shares of the company are up 2.9 percent year-to-date, and remain 35 percent below where they were trading six months ago.

“We’re trying to add stocks where there may be a short-term problem hitting the share price but the long-term outlook looks okay,” she said.

Preview: Southampton – Tottenham

The Sunday action from the Premier League will finish off with a match between two teams that going into this round of games are in different, but equally precarious positions just outside the relegation and the Champions League spots, respectively.

Flashscore presents the key facts before the match:

This season is turning out to be a nightmare for many of the Southampton faithful. The club finally gave in to ‘bigger money’ and let their best defender leave for Liverpool (Virgil van Dijk), and find themselves lacking on several fronts on the pitch: the team has not won once in their last ten PL games!

Tottenham are, together with Liverpool, the league’s in form outfit and have gained points on Chelsea and Manchester United in recent weeks as well as pulling five points clear of their eternal enemies Arsenal. If they are to further climb, they will need all three points here.

Son Heung-min has one explanation as to why the team are in great form – they’re striving to be like Harry Kane! He recently said: “I want more, like Harry Kane. He beats every record and I want to beat every record as well. I want to try to be a top player”.

Players to watch: Hurricane Kane needs no introduction. With 20 PL goals to his name already, Kane is aiming for yet another top scorer title.Top 5 Real Madrid players who are succeeding on a loan Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – We 上海夜网need to talk about the Top 5 Real Madrid players who are currently succeeding away from the club and are currently on a…

With Charlie Austin still out injured, Southampton fans will hope that Shane Long can rediscover his goalscoring form – and fast. Besides Austin, no Southampton player has more than three goals this season!

Stat attack: Since 2012, Tottenham have won four out of five games at St. Mary’s, scoring two goals or more on each of the five (one draw). In total, Southampton have only won one of the last ten head to head matches.

1-2? Tottenham average precisely 2.0 goals scored per game this season, Southampton precisely 1.0.

Missing players

Southampton: C. Austin (thigh injury), M. Yoshida (thigh injury)

Tottenham: T. Alderweireld (thigh injury), D. Rose (knee injury), H. Lloris (doubtful), H. Winks (doubtful).

Howe: “The key period is about to begin now”

Eddie Howe, the Bournemouth coach, knows very well that his team are about to enter the key period of the whole season as his Bournemouth are about to play a lot of matches in the upcoming weeks.

It was clear that Bournemouth were not about to gain something from their last match against Manchester City and Eddie Howe admitted that he was focusing more on the upcoming period that on that particular match. The Cherries were beaten 4-0 by the Premier League leaders and they were clearly the worse side for the majority of the fixture so this loss was deserved.

The talented British coach spoke about the upcoming series of matches as he said, according to Sky Sports: “Those games will take on even more significance. We came here trying to get something but we knew it would have been incredibly difficult and we have to look at these games [against United, Liverpo上海夜生活论坛ol and City] as one-offs because of the quality of opposition we were playing. We had an incredibly tough run but my hope is the players have come through it okay and we’re ready to go into an important spell for us.”Opinion: Martin Odegaard is perfect for the Premier League Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – Given how much he’s been rejected by Real Madrid, we are convinced that Martin Odegaard is perfect for the Premier League.Martin Odegaard is finally…

He continued by adding that his side did well in the match against City: “I thought we did okay. It was a huge task for us today, not just the team we were facing but also the injuries we’ve got. We were okay in the game until we conceded the first goal, which was our own doing, and it was hugely frustrating with the game plan we had. From then on it is difficult.”

In the end, Howe admitted that the second goal meant that the match was over: “The second goal is the killer for us. We still had a go to try to chase it and then opened ourselves up to concede a couple more. I’ve not spoken to [Stanislas] but I think it’s his hamstring feeling tight. We had a patched up team anyway and to lose another important player for us made it very difficult. It was a difficult afternoon.”

Muller continues the attacks on Ancelotti

Carlo Ancelotti has left Bayern Munich after multiple players complained about his methods.

After the appointing of Jupp Heynckes, some of Bayern’s players are still hitting out at their former manager. Most recently, Thomas Muller stated that he is certain the arrival of Heynckes will bring a revival in the team’s playing style.

The German midfielder was, along with Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben, decisive for the departure of Carlo Ancelotti, after the 3-0 defeat to PSG in Champions League.Report: Ancelotti’s Napoli held by Genk George Patchias – Carlo Ancelotti’s Napoli side was held to a scoreless draw by Belgian side Genk.This game was billed as a goal fest for the Italian…

Immediately after the appointing of Heynckes, one of the first reactions of Muller was: “Finally we will have good training sessions again”, hinting at the low quality of trainings under Ancelotti.

Speaking about the managerial change, Thomas Muller said: “Now we have no excuses. A change of manager always brings energy and we, the players, have to give everything. Both Jupp Heynckes and his staff came with a lot of energy to trainings from the beginning.” 

Bayern’s first match 上海夜网with Heynckes on the bench is to be played on Saturday, 15:30. The Bavarians will host Freiburg at Allianz Arena. Bayern are currently second in the standings, with 14 points after 7 rounds, five less than Bundesliga leaders, Borussia Dortmund.

Preview: Inter – Atalanta

Inter are fourth in Serie A, five points behind leaders Napoli and they will be looking to close the gap today, as they host 10th-placed Atalanta.

Flashscore presents the key facts before the match:

Sunday’s late game features 2 sides with different aspirations this season. Atalanta will be looking to improve on their current 10th place standing (16pts) in their quest to qualify for Europe again, w上海夜生活论坛hile 3rd placed Inter (30 pts) are having their best season in many years and can once again dream of Scudetto glory. These sides first met in Serie A in the 1937/38 season.

Inter are unbeaten in Serie A this season and have undoubtedly benefited from a lack of European football. Inter have scored at least 1 goal in all but one of their 12 games this season, and that game was a 0-0 away to league leaders Napoli.

Mauro Icardi has been in fine form for Inter this season, racking up 11 goals (joint 2nd in Serie A), although he has failed to score in his last 2 games. He actually scored a 10-minute hattrick last season against Atalanta in a 7-1 romp.

Inter drew their last game 1-1 at home to Torino, but the last time they drew 2 consecutive home games was back in April ’15 (part of a 3-game streak) – a run of 48 games.

The team from the San Siro top the corner charts in Serie A with an average of 12.83 corners per game, which is also the second highest in Europe’s major leagues.Report: Lukaku out of Barcelona game George Patchias – Romelu Lukaku has been ruled out of Inter Milan’s game against Barcelona at the Camp Nou.Inter Milan face Barcelona tomorrow evening at the Camp…

Atalanta are playing European football for the first time in 27 years this season and currently sit top of their Europa League group. They have an important game away at Everton on Thursday and their Serie A form (no win in the last 2) has undoubtedly suffered due to their focus on Europe.

Along with Chievo, Atalanta have a symmetrical record of 4 wins, 4 draws and 4 defeats this season. They are yet to win away this season (D2 L3) and have lost on their last 3 visits to Inter.

On balance, you are more likely to see second-half goals in this game. Both teams have scored 9 goals in the first half of their Serie A matches this season. Inter have gone on to score another 14 in the second half of their games while Atalanta have managed 10.

Missing players

Inter: Z. Vanheusden (knee injury), A. Pinamonti (doubtful).

Atalanta: R. Freuler (red card), L. Spinazzola (muscle injury), J. Schmidt (doubtful).

Madrid: A change in formation

Real Madrid are trying to find a way to end their struggles, and the coachg staff are looking into a possible change in formation

The coaching team of Real Madrid are desperately searching for a solution to the current crisis at the club that includes back-to-back defeats, MARCA reports.

Madrid head coach Zinedine Zidane, assisted by David Bettoni and Lluis Lopis are trying to find a medicine for Real’s sickness.

They want to get their team back on track as Los Blancos suffer from poor form besides having tactical concerns, leaving open spaces for rivals to attack.

The solution that seems the easiest maybe would be to return to a 4-3-3 formation, one that fans could see in action, until Zidane could use it, with Gareth Bale being a key player in it.

Since the Welsh winger’s constant injuries however, Madrid changed to a 4-4-2, where Isco’s excellence could be used for their advantage.

The question is whether Zidane will change tactics against Las Palmas on Sunday, or will he wait until the next international break? It’s hard to tell, as Madrid is in desperate need of a redemption, but Bale is expected to return after the break, which could force the French manager to change his tactics once again.Wijnaldum looking to repeat Champions League success Nedim Maric – Liverpool are the reigning winners of the Champions League. However, this isn’t stopping them for aiming to get the glory once again.After a perfect…

It’s also possible that Zidane will look to revive the width of the side which has disappeared since Isco pla上海夜网ying centrally behind Ronaldo as a traditional centre forward in the middle, without drifting to the left.

This would allow Cristiano Ronaldo to find more space out wide just like he did most of his career, and hopefully rediscover his form.

Los Blancos have quite a few options to switch to a 4-3-3 even without Bale. Besides Ronaldo playing on the left wing and Benzema being the centre-forward, the right side could be occupied by Lucas Vasquez or Marcos Asensio, giving Madrid the width it requires.

It’s interesting to see that throughout the season, Los Blancos have always switched formations during the game. In fact, they often changed to a completely different one than what they have started with.

In their last two defeats, against Girona and Tottenham for example, the defense has ended the game with three actual defenders, and their full-backs played more like wing-backs.

Whatever the coaching team decides, they better get Los Blancos back to winning ways, as they are already behind Barcelona by 8 points.

Hodgson knows that just the spirit is not enough

It’s going to be a very difficult task to save Crystal Palace and everybody knows it – and their coach, Ryan Hodgson, is sure that his team will need much more than just the spirit as they have to show also a quality.

Just four points after ten games – what a terrible record for Hodgson’s side. The experienced Englishman improved the results of his side after his arrival but it’s not enough as his Crystal Palace are about to face Tottenham this weekend and it’s going to be really difficult – the Spurs beat Real Madrid this week and they are in a good shape.

Hodgson spoke about his team’s attitude before the upcoming match as he said, according to Sky Sports: “I’ve not seen any signs of a lack of fighting spirit even from the moment I was appointed, and I don’t think from what I have seen from the training sessions that there is any lack of desire on the part of the players to give their absolute all to help the club get out of the situation it finds itself in.”Wijnaldu上海夜生活m looking to repeat Champions League success Nedim Maric – Liverpool are the reigning winners of the Champions League. However, this isn’t stopping them for aiming to get the glory once again.After a perfect…

But he knows that it’s not enough and they have to improve a lot in other aspects: “But unfortunately fighting spirit alone is not enough. You have got to play some good football along the way, you have got to defend well and you have got to attack well. They are the things that the players, in my opinion at least, are trying to do in their everyday training sessions.”

The former Liverpool coach also praised Wilfried Zaha for his contribution after coming back from injury: “The players that get singled out are at the business end of the field, the goalkeepers at one end and the centre-forwards at the other. The goal scorers are always going to be the ones that people talk about and I’m more than happy to do that. Since Wilf Zaha has been in back in training and back playing for us he has added something to our team. He has given us another dimension, another possibility.”

Frustrated Sanchez lashes out at the press

The Chilean was having none of it following  a huge blow on his country’s chances to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.

Alexis Sanchez was highly upset with journalists following Chile’s 1-0 defeat to Bolivia in South America’s qualifiers for the World Cup.

The Arsenal player has had a horrible summer after his desired move to Manchester City fell apart and now Chile has suffered to defeats, which significantly lowers their chances of making it to Russia next year. The 28-year-old took it to social media to express his frustration with the situation.

“And there comes the time when you get tired,” he said on Instagram.

“You get tired when you are criticised with or without reason, you get tired when people want to see you defeated.Antonio Conte determined to find Alexis Sanchez’s brilliance Andrew Smyth – Antonio Conte is on a mission to help Alexis Sanchez rediscover his old brilliance, and promised the Inter Milan loanee more game time.

“You get tired to tell yourself ‘I will get up again’ after crying about a defeat, and you get tired telling the world and the people that are with you that everything is okay.

“And the worst thing is, no one ever realises how that makes you feel… I have Chile’s number 7 and it is a huge responsib上海夜生活网ility, that’s why it is a shame that journalists and bad people criticise without knowing.”

Morata to persuade Real duo to join him at Manchester United

Alvaro Morata is already with one step on Old Trafford, and the Spanish striker is trying to persuade two of his Real Madrid teammates to join him in England.Written by Cosmin Mihalescu. June 12, 2017.

The 24-year-old striker is set to become the most expensive Spanish player ever transferred, with Manchester United ready to pay €70m for his services. The previous record was the one of Fernando Torres, who moved from Liverpool to Chelsea in 2011, for €58,5m.

But Morata is not looking to come alone from Santiago Bernabeu to Old Trafford. According to his social media activity, the striker would entertain the idea of persuading two of his colleagues to join him at Manchester United.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.

Alvaro Morata liked a recent post on a Manchester United fan page, which was stating that the striker “is set to join Manchester United and has told Gareth Bale to join him and make the United squad better, and James Rodriguez has been told by his stepfather to join United in the summer, to get more playing time.”

James Rodriguez has previously been linked with a move to Old Trafford, but recent reports suggest that he is closer to a move to PSG, with the Parisians lookin上海夜生活网g to strengthen their team after a failed season.

Regarding Gareth Bale, the Welshman could be sold by Real Madrid, who are looking to raise money and create space for the biggest transfer in history – Kylian Mbappe from Monaco.

Brighton announce the signing of Mathew Ryan from Valencia for a club-record fee

The Australian goalkeeper will become Seagulls’ third signing ahead of their Premier League debutWritten by – Nikolay Nikolov, June 17, 2017.

Brighton & Hove Albion have broken their club record transfer fee to sign Valencia’s goalkeeper Mathew Ryan.

The 25-year-old Australia international agreed on a contract until 2022. He became the club’s third signing after Pascal Gross and Josh Kerr ahead of their Premier League debut season.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.

Albion manager Chris Hughton said: “I’m delighted that we’ve been able to attract Mathew to the club, and he will certainly be an excellent addition to the squad in time for our first season in the Premier Leag上海夜生活论坛ue. We’re very much looking forward to working with him for the season ahead.

“For somebody of Mathew’s age, he has very good experience, having played in the top divisions in Australia, Belgium and Spain. He has also competed in European competition and made a number of appearances at international level.”

European top clubs started to follow Ryan at the time he was playing for Club Brugge in the Belgian Pro League. There, he was chosen as the Goalkeeper of the Year in two successive seasons – 2014/15 and 2015/16.

Inter to go shopping in Barcelona

Inter’s new Chinese management is not messing around. They have not given up on Diego Simeone and are now planning a bid for one of Barcelona’s stars.Written by Cosmin Mihalescu. April 29, 2017.

The new Internazionale Milano project is coming to life, and t上海夜生活heir Chinese management is setting ambitious targets for the summer transfer window.

Their latest target is Barcelona’s midfielder, Arda Turan. The Turkish press has announced that the capital infusion aims to build a strong team at Giuseppe Meazza. Having had their initial approach of Diego Simeone refused by the manager, Inter are now looking to show the Argentinian that they really mean business and are ready to offer him a strong squad.Inter Milan V Lazio: Players to 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…

Arda Turan was highly appreciated during his time at Vicente Calderon, while playing under Simeone. And is now considered the perfect foundation to paving the way for great things in the future. Although no official bid has been made yet, the €30m-rated midfielder will be approached in the following days.

Barcelona have paid €34m to Atletico for Turan’s transfer in 2015, who was unavailable for selection for a period of six-months, due to Barcelona’s UEFA ban of registering new players.

Arda Turan has won three trophies with Barcelona: La Liga title (2016), Spanish Cup (2016) and Spanish SuperCup (2016). He had his debut for the Turkish national team in 2006, and he has since then played 96 times, scoring 17 goals.

Exclusive: PSA, Dongfeng to drop two China auto plants, halve workforce – document

BEIJING/PARIS ( ) – Peugeot maker PSA Group (PEUP.PA) and partner Dongfeng Group (0489.HK) have agreed to cut thousands of jobs in China and drop two of their four shared assembly plants, according to a document seen by , in a last-ditch bid to curb mounting losses as the world’s largest auto market loses steam.

Dongfeng Peugeot Citroen Automobiles (DPCA), the carmakers’ joint venture based in Wuhan, central China, will halve its workforce to 4,000 as it closes one plant and sells another under plans agreed last month between PSA boss Carlos Tavares and Dongfeng Chairman Zhu Yanfeng, the document showed.

Both carmakers declined to comment on details of their restructuring plans. “We are working with our partners to improve the overall performance of our business in China in all its dimensions,” a PSA spokesman said.

The agreement may avert a threatened withdrawal by PSA, according to two sources at the French carmaker who said their chief executive had signaled that PSA might otherwise exit the 27-year-old partnership with its 12.2% shareholder Dongfeng, or even leave China altogether.

“We’re just a whisker away from having to withdraw from China,” said one person close to the PSA board. “It really is that serious.”

PSA is attempting a reboot in adverse conditions. Once an auto industry cash cow, the Chinese market contracted last year for the first time since the 1990s and is expected to decline another 5% in 2019, squeezed by a worse上海夜生活ning U.S.-China trade war.

Many Western carmakers were already struggling before the downturn, as Chinese consumers abandoned their mid-market brands for increasingly assertive domestic rivals here including the global manufacturers’ own local partners.

PSA’s deep China problems go back even further, spanning four years of plunging sales and 400 million euros ($450 million) written off its DPCA stake, which is now valued at 500 million euros.

Its sales in the country shrunk almost threefold to 251,700 vehicles last year from a 2014 peak of 731,000.

“We’re not giving up,” a PSA spokesman said. “We are still pursuing our action plan to cut fixed costs.”

DPCA will now close its original assembly plant, Wuhan 1, and redevelop the site in a commercial partnership with the local government, according to the plans. The factory’s tooling and production will be transferred to the Wuhan 3 facility.

Headcount across DPCA will fall from 8,000 to 5,500 by the end of 2019 and to 4,000 within another three years, as it also sells off its idling Wuhan 2 facility, according to the document – which noted ongoing discussions with unidentified potential buyers.

Underperforming vehicles will be dropped as the Peugeot and Citroen lineups are streamlined around more profitable models, mirroring the European turnaround strategy now powering record margins in PSA’s home markets.

HURDLES

The carmakers’ dealings have often been fraught, and PSA executives including Tavares have voiced frustration with DPCA’s management. The French group’s shares briefly spiked on an Aug. 7 report that Dongfeng was preparing to divest its PSA stake, acquired in a 2014 bailout.

Questioned by analysts about China operations, Tavares pledged during PSA’s July 24 earnings call to “accelerate variable cost reduction, reduce fixed cost” and boost pricing.

“Our partner is in the same mindset,” he said of Dongfeng. “They also want to accelerate.”

The restructuring faces hurdles, not least the challenge of finding a Wuhan 2 buyer amid mounting uncertainty – although Chinese government restrictions on greenfield sites may help.

Over the past 18 months, Dongfeng’s Chairman Zhu tried repeatedly to persuade Honda (7267.T) or Nissan (7201.T) to take over one of the DPCA plants, reported on Aug 1.

Mueller complained to Barr about his summary of Russia probe: Washington Post

WASHINGTON ( ) – Special Counsel Robert Mueller complained in a letter to Attorney General William Barr that his four-page summary of Mueller’s Russia report “did not fully capture the context, nature, and substance” of the investigation’s conclusions, the Washington Post reported on Tuesday.

The Post said it reviewed a copy of Mueller’s letter, which was written in late March after Barr released a summary on March 24 that said Mueller did not establish that members of President Donald Trump’s campaign conspired with Russia during the 2016 election.

Barr also said in the summary that Mueller had not reached a conclusion on whether Trump obstructed justice. Barr said he and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein had found the evidence insufficient to support such a charge.

Justice Department spokeswoman Kerri Kupec, in a statement, confirmed that Mueller wrote上海夜生活网 to Barr after the summary was released to express frustration over “the lack of context and the resulting media coverage,” particularly about Mueller’s conclusions on obstruction of justice.

Democrats have accused Barr of trying to spin the report’s conclusions to protect Trump.

In a statement in response to the Post report, House of Representatives Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler said Barr “should not have taken it upon himself to describe the Special Counsel’s findings in a light more favorable to the President.” The Democratic lawmaker demanded the Justice Department release a copy of Mueller’s letter by Wednesday morning.

Barr’s four-page summary was released more than three weeks before a redacted version of Mueller’s 448-page report was released to the public on April 18.

“The summary letter the Department sent to Congress and released to the public late in the afternoon of March 24 did not fully capture the context, nature, and substance of this office’s work and conclusions,” Mueller wrote, according to the Post.

“There is now public confusion about critical aspects of the results of our investigation. This threatens to undermine a central purpose for which the Department appointed the Special Counsel: to assure full public confidence in the outcome of the investigations,” the Post quoted Mueller as writing.

Peter Carr, a spokesman for Mueller, declined to comment to .

Mueller asked Barr to release the report’s introductions and executive summaries quickly, without waiting for the full report to go through the redaction process.

“Release at this time would alleviate the misunderstandings that have arisen and would answer congressional and public questions about the nature and outcome of our investigation,” Mueller wrote, according to the Post.

Kupec said after receiving Mueller’s letter, Barr called the special counsel and they had a “cordial and professional conversation.”

Kupec said “the Special Counsel emphasized nothing in the Attorney General’s March 24 letter was inaccurate or misleading.”

She said Barr declined Mueller’s request to release part of the report early, deciding “it would not be productive to release the report in piecemeal fashion.”

Mueller’s letter is likely to be brought up when Barr testifies on Wednesday about the Russia investigation before the Senate Judiciary Committee. It will be the attorney general’s first appearance on Capitol Hill since the report’s release.

NBC, Fox News, Facebook pull Trump campaign ad linking immigration,…

NEW YORK ( ) – NBC, Fox News and Facebook (FB.O) pulled a campaign ad linking a caravan of Central American migrants and a cop killer, which U.S. President Donald Trump endorsed and CNN deemed “racist,” the media companies said on Monday. The primetime TV ads on NBC, paid for by Donald J. Trump for President, ran during a “Sunday Night Football” broadcast.

It intercut courtroom footage of Luis Bracamontes, an undocumented Mexican immigrant convicted of killing two sheriff’s deputies in California in 2014 with scenes of the caravan, which has been moving slowly through Mexico toward the United States.

The ad was placed on the popular football broadcast to encourage voters to choose candidates from Trump’s Republican Party in elections on Tuesday that will determine whether Republicans retain control of the U.S. Congress.

“After further review we recognize the insensitive nature of the ad and have decided to cease airing it across our properties as soon as possible,” said a spokesperson for NBC Universal, owned by Comcast Corp (CMCSA.O), in a statement on Monday. The ad was earlier rejected by CNN, which labeled it “racist.”

“CNN has made it abundantly clear in its editorial coverage that this ad is racist. When presented with an opportunity to be paid to take a version of this ad, we declined. Those are上海夜生活 the facts,” the network tweeted on Saturday.

Fox News issued a statement about taking down the ad shortly after NBC, according to a CNN report.

“Upon further review, Fox News pulled the ad yesterday and it will not appear on either Fox News Channel or Fox Business Network,” Marianne Gambelli, Fox News’ president of advertisement sales, said in a statement.

Facebook Inc joined in, and said it no longer allowed paid promotion of the ad because it violated its policies regarding sensational content.

However, it did not block Facebook users from sharing the video. The company said it held advertising on its platform to a higher standard.

“This ad violates Facebook’s advertising policy against sensational content so we are rejecting it,” a Facebook spokesman said in a statement. “While the video is allowed to be posted on Facebook, it cannot receive paid distribution.”

For all election coverage, see: here

Bayer bets on ‘silver bullet’ defense in Roundup litigation;…

NEW YORK ( ) – Bayer AG plans to argue that a $2 billion jury award and thousands of U.S. lawsuits claiming its glyphosate-based weed killer Roundup causes cancer should be tossed because a U.S. regulatory agency said the herbicide is not a public health risk.

Some legal experts believe Bayer will have a tough time convincing appellate courts to throw out verdicts and lawsuits on those grounds. Bayer has a better shot if a business-friendly U.S. Supreme Court takes up the case, experts said. But that could take years.

Bayer has come under intensifying pressure after a third consecutive U.S. jury on Monday found Roundup to be carcinogenic, awarding more than $2 billion to a couple who used the chemical on their property – the largest verdict in the glyphosate litigation to date.

Bayer, which inherited the Roundup litigation with its $63 billion acquisition of Monsanto last year, faces lawsuits by more than 13,400 plaintiffs nationwide, alleging the product causes cancer.

The Germany-based company’s shares have been hammered since the first Roundup cancer verdict against it last August, wiping out some 40 billion euros ($44.76 billion) in market value and leaving Bayer worth less than the price it paid for Monsanto.

Bayer denies that Roundup causes cancer, saying decades of studies have shown glyphosate and the weed killer to be safe.

On Wednesday, the company said it will argue that the lawsuits, which are brought under state law, conflict with guidance from a federal agency, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

On April 30, the EPA reaffirmed prior guidance saying that glyphosate is not a carcinogen and not a risk to public health when used in accordance with its current label..

Citing the EPA decision, Bayer has repeatedly rebuked plaintiffs’ calls to add a cancer warning to Roundup, saying the agency would reject that change.

Under the legal doctrine of preemption, state law claims are barred if 上海夜生活论坛they conflict with federal law.

“We have very strong arguments that the claims here are preempted … and the recent EPA registration decision is an important aspect of that defense,” William Hoffman, one of Bayer’s lawyers, said during a call with reporters on Wednesday. Hoffman said the argument applied to all U.S. Roundup lawsuits.

Preemption is generally regarded as a “silver bullet defense” because it stops claims across the board, said Adam Zimmerman, a law professor at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles.

But Zimmerman and three other legal experts agreed that Bayer faces a big hurdle convincing appeals courts that the EPA determination on glyphosate shields it from state law claims.

They cited a 2005 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that the EPA’s approval of a product does not necessarily bar state law claims. The ruling, Bates v Dow Agrosciences, gives broad leeway to juries to decide if such claims should proceed, they said.

Judges in the three Roundup cases that have gone to trial against Monsanto all rejected the company’s preemption argument, citing this ruling.

“In light of the Bates decision, it’s going to be an uphill battle for the company to win on preemption on appeal,” Zimmerman said.

Bayer also said it will argue on appeal that trial courts improperly admitted evidence that was not backed up by science. But legal experts said appellate courts generally defer to lower court evidentiary rulings.

‘SORE THUMB’

Lars Noah, a law professor at the University of Florida, said Bayer’s chances of success would increase significantly if the Supreme Court takes up the Roundup appeals.

The high court only accepts around 70 cases each year, but a business-friendly majority on the court could be inclined to hear the dispute, said Alexandra Lahav, a law professor at the University of Connecticut.

Since 2005, the high court has decided at least three preemption cases in favor of companies, none of which involved the EPA.

The Supreme Court will soon rule in another case that rests on whether a U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval preempts tort claims.

In that case, plaintiffs sued Merck & Co over the company’s alleged failure to warn of the risk of serious bone fractures associated with its osteoporosis drug Fosamax.

Merck, which denies the allegations, argued the lawsuits should be preempted because the FDA did not require an additional fracture warning in the drug’s prescribing information. During a January hearing, the Justices appeared to side with the company.

Bayer in a statement on Thursday said it does not believe the 2005 Bates ruling posed a barrier for the appellate courts due to other Supreme Court rulings since then.

Noah agreed that the Court has more recently signaled its appetite to limit lawsuits that contradict opinions by experts at regulatory agencies.

“The Bates decision by now sticks out like a sore thumb,” Noah said. “Bayer has more than enough ammunition in recent Supreme Court cases to show the trial court judges got it wrong.”