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Daily Briefing: Not so fast

Assuming away a year-long trade war can be dangerous. Much of the near 8% surge in world stock markets since the start of the fourth quarter, and broader rally in risk assets, has been predicated on at least a partial trade truce between the United States and China that at least stops the escalation of tariff hikes and staves off recession next year. Indeed most of the relatively benign 2020 investment outlooks are based on the same baseline assumption.

Junk loan market tensions signal end of buyout-led binge

Many investors are shunning the riskiest corners of the junk-rated U.S. corporate loan market because of concerns about possible credit rating downgrades, putting the brakes on a run of leveraged buyouts and debt-funded dividends.

Daily Briefing: Nagging doubts

Not all’s rosy in the garden. Record-high world stock markets stepped back from their latest peaks on Wednesday, fearful that the year-end rally had assumed a U.S.-China trade deal that’s far from guaranteed. A drop in oil prices, poor U.S. retail earnings, declining Japanese exports and an equivocal reaction to the UK election’s first live TV debate all added to a note of caution on Wednesday.

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Labour unveils 'radical' plan to remake Britain

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn unveiled his party's election manifesto on Thursday, setting out radical plans to transform Britain with public sector pay rises, higher taxes on companies and a sweeping nationalisation of infrastructure.