Sign up to receive FirstFT by email here
Currency markets and pro-EU Britons were buoyed by a landmark High Court ruling that the UK government must give parliament a vote on the EU divorce process. In a blow to Brexiters, the court said on Thursday the rights given by parliament in the European Communities Act 1972 could not be taken away by the government — only by parliament.
The British pound spiked 1.2 per cent immediately after the ruling, although it fell back soon after on the news that the government will appeal to the Supreme Court. Whether or not the government wins its appeal, the defeat means the process of leaving the EU could be subject to time-consuming parliamentary wrangling that puts plans to activate the Article 50 exit clause in jeopardy.
In the news
Fed flags December rate rise The Fed kept the target range for its benchmark rate at 0.25-0.5 per cent as it avoided stirring up markets just days ahead of the presidential election. However, the US central bank signalled that an increase in short-term interest rates is in prospect as early as its next meeting amid a pick-up in inflation. (FT)
Baghdadi breaks his silence The head of Isis, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, took to the airwaves today for the first time since December 2015 to rally his fighters as they defend the Iraqi city of Mosul. In a recorded message he told his followers they would be victorious and urged them to stand their ground and fight. Iraqi forces entered the outskirts of Mosul earlier this week. (Guardian)
Roasting conservatives British conservative politicians savaged each other at an awards ceremony dripping with acid-laden jokes that laid bare the tensions, betrayals and bitterness of Brexit. The prime minister launched into a series of risqué remarks, including a suggestion that Boris Johnson, the foreign secretary and a former leadership rival, was being lined up for political euthanasia. Mr Johnson had to hastily backtrack when he told the audience that Brexit would be a “titanic” success — prompting widespread laughter. (FT)
Facebook nails mobile The social network beat analyst expectations on revenue and earnings as millions of marketers flocked to the platform to reach users on their smartphones. But shares fell more than 8 per cent in after-hours trading on warnings that revenue growth could slow next year. It comes as October was the first month ever when more web pages were viewed on mobile and tablet devices than on desktops and laptops. (FT, Quartz)
Another Aleppo deadline Moscow has called on rebels fighting in Aleppo to leave by Friday, offering to extend a moratorium on air strikes on the city where more than a quarter of a million people are trapped. Meanwhile, Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian president who has been accused of war crimes, is on a media blitz in an attempt at what Elliot Hannon calls an “attempted makeover” that is “chilling in the breadth and scope of its unblinking revisionism”. (FT, New Yorker, Slate)
It’s a big day for
The Bank of England The UK’s central bank will present its quarterly inflation report and present new forecasts. The BoE has come under pressure from Brexiters in the face of better than expected growth. They say the bank’s economic predictions after the EU referendum were overly negative. (FT)
Food for thought
Trump’s big day November 8 may be election day in the US, but for Republican candidate Donald Trump, November 28 is also important, regardless of the poll’s result. It is the day when he is scheduled to face trial on fraud charges in a federal court in California, one of many fronts on which the man who has campaigned on his entrepreneurial success is being forced to defend his business practices. (FT)
Could Asian-American sway the polls? As the polls narrow ahead of election day in the US next week, Asian-Americans could tip the balance for Hillary Clinton. A recent survey shows that 55 per cent of Asians backed the Democratic candidate; just 14 per cent backed Mr Trump. (NAR) Keep track of the 2016 presidential race with our daily US politics newsletter. Sign up here.
Ageism in Silicon Valley The FT’s Lucy Kellaway explains why “faddish” organisational trends emerging from Silicon Valley exclude older workers and risk alienating older customers who tend to have the most money. (FT)
Uber is your new best friend Uber no longer wants just to deliver you or your dinner from point A to point B. Its new app aims to become an integral part of your daily life, including anticipating where you want to go, telling you where your friends are and suggesting things you may want to eat. The new feature is the ride-hailing service’s biggest product overhaul in four years. (FT)
Nutella: open to debate Just how much Nutella is too much for a single snack? That is the question the US Food and Drug Administration is seeking to answer, and it is looking for input from the public. Because Nutella is considered a “dessert topping” by the government, it has bigger serving sizes on its packaging. But Ferrero Rocher, the company that manufactures Nutella, argues that Americans instead primarily use it on toast and sandwiches. (Quartz)
Video of the day
FOMC? What FOMC? John Authers analyses how the US dollar weakened and the S&P 500 sold off as the chances of a Donald Trump victory appeared to rise. (FT)