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The dollar slid overnight after Donald Trump claimed the US currency was getting too strong, while reversing course on past views that China was a “currency manipulator”. He also said Nato was “no longer obsolete”. US Treasuries were also up, after he said in an interview with the WSJ that he did not completely reject renominating Janet Yellen despite campaign pledges not to offer her a second term.
Separately, the prospect of improved ties between the US and Russia — another policy vow of Mr Trump’s — appeared remote despite a “frank and substantive” two-hour meeting in Moscow between Vladimir Putin and Rex Tillerson. The US secretary of state said afterwards that “trust is very low” between the two countries. (WSJ, HuffPo, FT)
In the news
Beslan failure Russia failed to take sufficient steps to prevent the 2004 school siege that led to more than 330 deaths, the European Court of Human Rights ruled. It said the authorities had received information about a planned terror attack. (Guardian)
North Korea tensions rise Mr Trump described the isolated country as a “menace” and a prominent Chinese state-run newspaper warned Pyongyang that it faced a cut-off of oil supplies if it dared to test a nuclear weapon. Japan’s prime minister warned that Pyongyang may now have the ability to put sarin on missiles. (FT, NYT)
Manafort and murky dealings After his exit from Donald Trump’s campaign, Paul Manafort borrowed from businesses with ties to the billionaire. The transactions raise a number of questions, including whether his decision to turn to lenders connected to Mr Trump was related to his role in the campaign. (NYT)
Buffett sells Wells Don’t read anything into Warren Buffett’s sale of 9m shares in Wells Fargo. The Sage of Omaha only did it to end tortuous negotiations with the Federal Reserve over the size of Berkshire Hathaway’s stake in the scandal-hit US bank. (FT)
Brexit re-route HSBC said some of its largest clients had already asked for their business to be routed through the bank’s offices in mainland Europe and were not waiting to see what Brexit deal the UK hammers out. They were also considering “flipping” their regional head offices to EU cities from Britain. (Bloomberg)
Zimbabwe’s unusual assets Robert Mugabe’s ruling party has proposed that livestock can be used as collateral for loans. That raises a few problems with depreciation. (FT)
Test your knowledge with the FirstFT week in news quiz. What was the name of the aircraft carrier the US sent to waters off North Korea?
Number of the day
92% The proportion of time that index funds beat stockpickers — over the past 15 years. (WSJ)
It’s a big day for
US banks JPMorgan, Citigroup and Wells Fargo kick off the bank earnings season. Analysts expect double-digit increases in earnings per share from the same period a year earlier — and to hear more about the Wells Fargo sham accounts debacle. (FT)
Turkish electors President Recept Tayyip Erdogan puts his new constitution to the vote on Sunday in a referendum. Business leaders hope it will draw a line under tumult. The stakes are enormous, writes David Gardner: if he wins, pluralism will not end but he will strengthen his power and is eligible to remain in office till 2029. (FT)
Food for thought
Muji is at home abroad Once an in-house supermarket brand, the number of outlets outside Japan will surpass those domestically for the first time this fiscal year. (NAR)
Death by (Swiss) chocolate Healthier eating habits and weaker markets have forced Lindt and Nestlé to adapt. As a war on sugar sweeps the world, can the Swiss chocolatiers save themselves? (FT)
Bovine vigilantes Self-styled defenders of the sacred cow in India are attacking livestock sellers, as the Hindu nationalist government and its supporters step up protection as a national priority. (FT)
Murder in Malaysia As court proceedings for the two women accused of murder in the killing of Kim Jong Nam begin this week, this article explores how a waitress and a masseuse became cogs in Kim Jong Nam’s high-profile killing. (WSJ)
Fingerprint sensors are not as safe as you think They have turned smartphones into miracles of convenience, and pressing a finger can buy everything from a bag of groceries to an Aston Martin. A new US study suggests they can be easily fooled. (NYT)
Video of the day
North Korea viewed from the South What should President Donald Trump do about North Korea? Experts and defectors based in South Korea tell Bryan Harris that the latest crisis looks less dramatic from Seoul than from Washington. (FT)