WSJ City: Big Bets on Sterling, Job Cuts at Wolseley, How Insurers Are Getting Creative

Good morning from London. Here’s essential reading for the City today from WSJ City. 

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MUST READS FROM WSJ CITY

Sterling’s been on a volatile ride, and speculators are taking increasingly large bets.

In a world where decent yield is a rarity, insurance companies are getting creative. But not all.

City Talk: Job cuts at Wolseley; L&G retirement unit to double sales; Thomas Cook sees good demand.

Hector Sants, the ex-CEO of the FSA, says the regulatory model for investment banks needs to evolve.

You might be forgiven for thinking it, but the UK’s supermarket war is likely to be far from over.

CBOE’s deal to buy Bats Global Markets is an unlikely combination. Here’s why the deal happened.

Swift said three breaches took place this summer. The interbank message carrier is issuing security patches.

Central bankers are hoping to stoke growth by purchasing corporate bonds. Is the policy effective?

Clinton and Trump clashed on national security, race and the economy during the first debate.

The CEO of UBS’s investment bank says the need for bank restructurings is becoming ‘more obvious.’

Walt Disney is considering a bid for Twitter after Salesforce.com emerged as a possible suitor.

IN THE PAPERS

Mario Draghi issued a fresh plea to eurozone governments to help out the ECB by enacting growth-boosting overhauls, underlining how central banks are moving closer to the limits of what their stimulus policies can achieve. WSJ

Monarch Airlines, which is trying to raise funds, faces closure this week unless it can urgently renew its operating licence. The Times (£)

Britain’s economy could overtake other European countries following Brexit, according to one of Germany’s most prominent businessmen. The Times (£)

BMW is on a collision course with its UK workers over plans to close its final salary pension scheme to new contributions. The Telegraph

London has retained its position at the top of a ranking of global financial centres, but there are signs that its position is under threat amid Brexit. FT (£)

Lufthansa pulled a €500 million debt sale on Monday, in an unusual move that signals limits to the European Central Bank asset-buying programme. WSJ

MARKETS TODAY

Stock markets across Europe were expected to rebound from significant losses on Tuesday, with some investors pointing to the performance of US Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton in the first presidential debate.

In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average was recently up 0.3%, having traded 1.6% lower before the televised head-to-head with Republican nominee Donald Trump.

FTSE 100 futures, as well as futures in other major European bourses, jumped after the debate. The safe-haven Japanese yen, which investors tend to snap up in times of uncertainty, fell 0.5%. Gold lost ground too.

The pound and the euro were recently little changed against the dollar.

“It looks like a lot of Trump-sensitive assets have seen a bit of reversal since the debate…but it’s still early days and we don’t [know] how the debate played in the battleground electorates,” said IG’s Angus Nicholson.

Oil prices lost steam after Iran played down expectations for a production deal, calling the Algiers meeting on Wednesday “consultative.” Brent was hovering around $47 a barrel, having gained more than 3% in New York on Monday.

Stocks to Watch: Wolseley FY16 pretax profit £727 million, demand across markets remains mixed; Mediclinic 1H17 trading in line, backs full-year guidance; United Utilities sees 1H revenue slightly below 1H last year; Legal & General retirement unit on track to double new business sales in 2016; QinetiQ Group names Rolls-Royce’s  David Smith as CFO.

COMING UP

The CBI issues its monthly survey of business conditions in the retail, wholesale and the motor trades.