The 6am Cut London | FT Alphaville

The 6am Cut London

UK 2012 growth forecasts will be raised – slightly – in the Budget on Wednesday, as the Office for Budget Responsibility is expected to follow recent more optimistic moves by private sector economists. Its last forecast, made in November, was for 0.7%; that will be raised to 0.8%. (Financial Times) And British consumer spending is up, as job security fears ease. (Reuters)

Oil futures have fallen a whopping 0.6% after Saudi Arabia’s announcement it will boost production and export more to the US. (Bloomberg) (Financial Times)

– Deutsche Börse will mount a legal challenge to the EU’s prohibition of its planned merger with NYSE Euronext, saying the decision was “flawed”. A spokesman for NYSE Euronext said the company hadn’t decide whether to join the challenge. (Wall Street Journal)(Financial Times)

Glencore is close to taking over Canadian agribusiness Viterra for $6bn. Viterra said Monday “it is in exclusive discussions” with a third party about a possible acquisition for about $C16/share.  Though the company didn’t name the third party, people familiar with the matter said it is Glencore. (Wall Street Journal)

Disney’s big budget civil war/time travel/space film surprises no-one by crashing and leading to a $200m writedown. (Financial Times)

CFTC creates ‘swaps squad’ to oversee the US derivatives market, staffed with about 15 enforcement lawyers, plus a larger squad looking at disruptive trading and manipulation. (Financial Times)

– Bank of America, Morgan Stanley and AIG have sold $5.3bn of bonds, taking advantage of falling interest rates for bank debt following the Federal Reserve’s recent stress test results. (Financial Times)

BarCap slides in rankings of banks-doing-commodities-trading. Goldman and Morgan Stanley are still winning. (Financial Times)


– Goldman scores a win against, um, the Sisters of St Francis of Philadelphia, a Jewish non-profit and some other religious bodies. Nice…. (Reuters)

North America is becoming the new Middle East (of oil), says Ed Morse – (Wall Street Journal)

Businesses cannot expect to past muster the way they did during the boom years, as evidenced by scrutiny of Barclays, Serco, Capita and McKinsey, says Philip Stephens (Financial Times)