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REFILE-ALTCOINS-“Privacy coin” Monero offers near total anonymity

(Replaces cars with cards in eleventh graph)

* Monero is 12th biggest cryptocurrency by market capitalisation It has around $1.4 billion-worth in circulation

* Monero is used on darknet marketplaces – analysts

* Developer says Monero enables crime no more than cash

By Tom Wilson

LONDON, May 15 ( ) – Bitcoin’s share of the cryptocurrency market is sliding, with a host of alternative digital coins gaining ground as developers race to create digital cash that can gain a footing in mainstream commerce and finance.

As these “altcoins” grow in prominence, is publishing a series of stories that examines the features and characteristics of some of the alternatives to bitcoin that have grabbed the attention of developers, investors and regulators.

The first in this series looks at Monero – referred to as a privacy coin because it allows users to conceal nearly all details of transactions. It has become increasingly used for illegal purposes.

Since its launch in 2014, Monero has grown to be the 12th biggest cryptocurrency by market capitalisation with around $1.4 billion-worth in circulation.

HOW IS MONERO DIFFERENT TO BITCOIN?

Every transaction involving Monero obscures the digital addresses of the senders and receivers, as well as the value of the transaction. That offers users near-total anonymity, allowing them to instantaneously send digital cash without leaving any clues.

Bitcoin was initially seen as opaque, as the identity of the owners of digital wallets used to send and receive bitcoin is not public.

But details recorded permanently on the blockchain after bitcoin is sent and received can, in fact, give up clues that can be used to pinpoint those identities. This has become increasingly easy with the advent of firms that specialise in analysing blockchain transactions.

WHY’S IT GAINING ATTENTION?

When Norwegian police earlier this year gave details of the kidnapping of the wife of a wealthy businessman, they said the family had demanded a ransom in cryptocurrencies. Local press reported that the suspects wanted to be paid in Monero.

The unusual request underlined a growing trend for criminals to seek alternatives to bitcoin, which through its first decade has become the cryptocurrency of choice for illicit activities from buying contraband to laundering money, cyber security experts and law enforcement agencies say.

Bitcoin proponents say that traditional cash is also widely used for criminal activities.

Monero’s use on darknet marketplaces – sites used for buying illicit goods from drugs to stolen credit cards – is on the rise, said Tom Robinson, chief data officer of Elliptic, a London-based firm that provides blockchain-tracking software to law enforcement agencies and private companies.

Three of the biggest five darknet markets now accept Monero, Robinson said, though he added the caveat that bitcoin is still the most widely used cryptocurrency for darknet payments.

One of Monero’s developer team said Monero enables crime no more than cash. Its developers should stay out of debates on its traceability or risk undermining its decentralised nature, Francisco Cabanas told .

“It doesn’t selectively encourage crime, it encourages commerce,” said Cabanas, who goes by the nickname “ArcticMine,” in an interview via Skype from Vancouver. “In that respect, it’s no different to cash.”

Monero is also widely used for “cryptojacking,” or illicit cryptocurrency mining, where hackers infect computers and steal their power to mine new coins – a highly lucrative endeavour.

Nevertheless, over 4 percent of the 17 million Monero in circulation were mined using malware, said Guillermo Suarez de Tangil, a cybersecurity lecturer at King’s College London who has researched Monero.

“There is a clear phenomenon of the underground using Monero, and selling malware that will contribute to Monero mining,” he said.

Monero’s developers say its characteristics make it a useful tool for companies looking to maintain commercial secrecy. Users in repressive countries looking to avoid censorship or surveillance can also safely move money in the form of Monero, they say.

IS LAW ENFORCEMENT WORRIED? WHAT DO REGULATORS SAY?

Cryptocurrencies are mostly unregulated. Though countries from Britain to the United States are looking at how to deal with the phenomenon, few have set out comprehensive strategies for dealing with digital coins.

Asked about Monero, Borja Pastor de la Morena, an official at Europol in The Hague who oversees the agency’s work on money laundering said: “This kind of alternative cryptocurrency is more opaque and better at concealing the activity of the users.”

He said: “It’s a phenomenon that we are paying attention to”

And though aware of the propensity for cryptocurrencies to be used for money laundering, few financial national-level regulators have specifically addressed privacy coins.

Britain’s finance ministry, which leads a task force that is looking at if and how Britain will regulate cryptocurrencies, said it was aware of the potential for Monero to be used for criminal ends.

“We recognise the risks with cryptoassets like ‘privacy coins’ being used for illicit activity,” a spokesperson said, adding that it would “soon” launch a consultation on bringing crypto-related companies under anti-money laundering regulation.

Japan’s financial watchdog, sensitive to money laundering potential of privacy coins, last year asked a Tokyo-based exchange to review its listings. The exchange later ceased trading Monero.

WHO’S BEHIND MONERO?

Like bitcoin, Monero is governed by a virtual community of hundreds of developers that lacks any centralised authority.

Cabanas is one of only two publicly-known members of its seven-person core developer team, who act as stewards for updates to its code.

Mitchell Krawiec-Thayer, a San Francisco-based blockchain developer who is part of Monero Research Labs, said Monero is designed so it can be easily mined by individuals rather than powerful groups that team up to mine coins in industrial quantities.

“This lowers the barrier of entry to everyone,” he said. “The downside is that criminals have started using that. Steal上海夜生活ing other people’s resources, putting strain on their equipment – it’s a straight-up threat.”

Monero has recently launched a response group, where those infected by malware can seek help, Krawiec-Thayer said.

WHO USES MONERO FOR LEGITIMATE PURPOSES?

Data on who uses Monero, and why, is scarce. That’s a challenge for understanding the usage of any cryptocurrency, even more so for one designed to obscure its tracks.

Daily transactions for Monero – one proxy for how widely the cryptocurrency is used – have hovered around 8,000 this month, data from website CoinMetrics shows. The number of active digital wallet addresses for Monero has hung around 5,000.

By comparison, bitcoin sees around 320,000 transactions a day, with about 785,000 active addresses.

Monero is not the only privacy coin. Others, such as ZCash, have grown popular with investors, often for speculative reasons but also because of interest in their privacy features.

Grayscale, the world’s biggest crypto asset manager with around $1.3 billion under management, allows investors like hedge funds to invest in ZCash.

Amid growing acceptance of privacy coins, a number of major exchanges list Monero. For example, Malta-based Binance, one of the world’s largest exchanges, allows users to trade the coin.

Binance declined to comment on Monero, but said it has a comprehensive review process for evaluating coins and tokens for listing, and that it carries out periodic reviews on projects.

FOREX-Euro poised for 2nd week of gains as China-U.S. trade talks eyed

* Graphic: World FX rates in 2019 tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh

By Saikat Chatterjee

LONDON, May 10 ( ) – The euro edged higher on Friday and is poised for a second consecutive week of gains on growing fears that any escalation in the trade conflict between the United States and China would force U.S. policymakers to cut interest rates.

U.S. President Donald Trump’s tariff increase to 25% from 10% on $200 billion of Chinese goods kicked in on Friday, and Beijing said it would strike back. The two sides are pursuing last-ditch talks to try to salvage a trade deal.

While U.S. and Chinese 上海夜生活论坛officials return to the negotiating table later on Friday, investors have quietly ratcheted up bets of a U.S. interest rate cut with markets now roughly expecting one rate hike by the end of 2019.

Athanasios Vamvakidis, an FX strategist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, said if China retaliated then the threat of a global trade war will affect the outlook of the U.S. economy and increase the chances of a Fed rate cut.

“In this case, the Fed has more room to ease than most other central banks, suggesting eventually a weaker dollar against both the euro and the yen,” he said.

The single currency edged 0.1% higher to $1.1220 on Friday and was on track for a second consecutive week of gains.

Broadly, risk appetite was muted though some of the higher-yielding currencies such as the Australian dollar which was heavily sold earlier this week when Trump unexpectedly ratcheted up trade tensions, gained.

The dollar index measuring the U.S. currency against a basket of six major currencies, of which the euro is a main component, was slightly firmer at 97.43.

Still, trade tensions have had broadly little impact on foreign exchange markets with typical perceived safe-haven assets such as the Japanese yen only gaining 1.2% this week while broader currency market volatility gauges were subdued despite a minor bounce this week.

Elsewhere, the pound held around the $1.30 level after sustaining some losses this week before first quarter British GDP data where expectations are for a 0.5% expansion compared with 0.3% growth in the previous quarter.

Rhetoric or reality? Arabs struggle to decode Trump’s Mideast rhetoric

DUBAI ( ) – The future leader of the Middle East’s top foreign ally is, in the words of a Saudi prince, an anti-Muslim “disgrace”, openly disdainful of Arab security partnerships, who believes Saudi Arabia would cease to exist for long without the United States.

Donald Trump’s presidential election victory means he is the man Washington’s Arab allies must deal with after his January inauguration, as they seek U.S. help to end wars from Syria to Mosul, manage humanitarian crises and provide jobs for their populations at a time of low oil prices.

Trump’s campaign tirades against Muslim migrants – the target of Prince Alwaleed bin Talal’s comments on Twitter – and against Arab allies who don’t “pay” for U.S. support suggest the relationship could be delicate.

How far Trump the president will differ from Trump the polarizing election candidate is not clear.

Brief, congratulatory messages flowed quickly from Arab allies, including one from Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz, who wished Trump success in “achieving security and stability in the Middle East and the wider world”.

But underneath the protocol, for many Arab rulers and royals Trump’s victory is a source of anxiety. They now face a new America led by Trump who, they fear, could upend a regional order that has prevailed for decades.

Some ordinary Arabs like Trump’s no-nonsense style, and praise what they see as his capacity for tough leadership.

“A strong leader … that is what is needed here in the Middle East and all across the world,” said Ali al-Muhannadi, 57, a Qatari owner of an electrical company, filling his car up at a petrol station in Doha on Wednesday.

Muhannadi saw Trump as a useful ally in confronting the jihadist threat, saying he is “very frank and not like a politician. Islamist radicals are bad for the West and for us too”.

But privately there are concerns about a lack of clarity in Trump’s policies for the world’s most combustible region as it struggles to break free from war while trying to safeguard the free flow of its oil exports.

DISAFFECTED ARAB YOUTH

In particular there are worries that Trump’s hostile rhetoric towards Muslim migrants will play into the hands of Islamic State and al Qaeda, w上海夜生活网hich are eager to recruit disaffected young Arabs to wage war on the regional governments they despise as stooges of Washington.

Gulf Arab leaders want a U.S. president who understands their concerns after eight years of what they regard as diffidence under President Barack Obama, someone who did not provide the kind of personal contact they value.

In particular they want help to push back against Iran, their main rival. But they fear Trump’s public praise for Vladimir Putin will encourage Russia to expand its support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, an ally of Iran and an enemy of most Gulf Arab states.

Apart from a commitment to Israel’s security, a constant in U.S. foreign policy, and an isolationist tone to his comments, much in Trump’s statements about the region remains vague and poorly thought out, diplomats and analysts say.

Opinion is divided about whether Trump’s remarks on the campaign trail will be enacted when in office. Among these is his comment that he would consider halting U.S. purchases of Saudi oil unless Riyadh provides troops to fight Islamic State.

Faisal Al Yafai, a commentator at The National newspaper, said many people thought Trump had used his extravagant comments to win votes and once in office he would mellow.

“I am unconvinced. I think he actually believes his rhetoric. It’s quite worrying that he doesn’t seem to understand how global politics works,” he said. “For example you don’t go around saying ‘if our allies were threatened we wouldn’t intervene, why can’t they build their own nuclear weapons?’”

“That sort of stuff doesn’t help confidence. That collapse of confidence between the U.S. and its allies has a knock-on impact on the economies and in the decisions those countries take on a political level.”

Yafai, whose newspaper is based in the United Arab Emirates, noted Iraqis were putting their lives on the line to regain Mosul, Islamic State’s main stronghold in the country. “That is not just a war for the region, it is a war for the world,” he said.

Others are more sanguine.

A senior Turkish official predicted continued strong relations with the United States and argued that “comments in an election period always have a harder and more hawkish tone than is necessary. But they remain peculiar to the election period.”

SAUDIS “READY TO TAKE A RISK”

Prince Sultan bin Khaled al Faisal, a former Saudi special forces officer and now senior fellow at the King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies in Riyadh, said that in U.S. elections “what they say and what they do are two totally different things”.

“Foreign policy is not made by one man,” he said. “But it’s difficult to pinpoint what his policy actually is.”

Trump’s remarks have been combative, and eye-catching. He has said the United States should be reimbursed by the countries it provides protection for.

Without America, “Saudi Arabia wouldn’t exist for very long,” Trump told the New York Times in March.

Trump’s win drew a cautious welcome in Syria, which has entered its fifth year of war between rebels and Assad’s forces.

In Damascus, Syrian member of parliament Sherif Shehada said U.S. policy could shift Assad’s way. “We must be optimistic, but cautiously optimistic,” Shehada told by telephone.

Trump’s statements on Syria, and his more open-minded stance towards Assad’s ally Russia, have fueled rebel concern about the policy he may adopt on the conflict, in which the Russian air force has been bombing insurgents.

But beyond all that, many officials and observers see another ominous consequence.

Trump’s win has not only delighted Western right-wingers but also jihadists who told supporters the election had revealed the true position of the United States towards Muslims.

“The masks have slipped,” one supporter said on Islamic State websites. “(Trump’s) moronic declarations alone serve us even if his decisions will be under the supervision of the Senate…,” wrote another.

GLOBAL MARKETS-Shares sink as U.S.-China trade talks go to the wire

* European shares follow Asia, NY lower on China-U.S. trade angst

* Beijing vows retaliation after USTR sets tariff hike in motion

* Trump says China “broke the deal”; talks resume on Thursday

* Asia and EM stocks at 2-month lows, South Korea sinks 3 percent

* European stocks near 6-week lows, safe-haven yen 3-month high

* Uber IPO pricing due later

* Copper near 3-month low

* Asian stock markets: tmsnrt.rs/2zpUAr4

By Marc Jones

LONDON, May 9 ( ) – World shares tumbled for a fourth day running on Thursday after a warning from U.S. President Donald Trump that a long-worked-on trade deal with China was in serious danger.

Chinese Vice Premier Liu He was heading to Washington for two days of talks but Trump’s insistence that China “broke the deal”, and then Beijing’s response that it would retaliate against tariffs were ratcheting up the stakes.

Europe’s main stock markets sank almost immediately after a torrid day for Asia had battered 1.8 percent off China and more than 3 percent off South Korea, which is often seen as the bellwether for how this trade war hits home.

Both countries’ currencies were hit too, the won skidding to a more than two-year low and the yuan to a four-month trough, which kept traders buying the traditionally safe Japanese yen and U.S. and German bonds instead.

“Markets remain on edge ahead of the Chinese vice premier’s visit to Washington today,” Rabobank analyst Bas van Geffen said.

“Doubt that this tariff increase can be avoided is growing,” he added as Goldman Sachs also put the chance of a hike at 60 percent.

If talks do fall short, Washington has promised to raise tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods to 25 percent from 10 percent at 12:01 a.m. ET (0401 GMT) on Friday. For economists, the worry is that it will further slow the global economy.

Kazuhiko Fuji, senior fellow at RIETI, a Japanese government-affiliated think-tank, said the trade talks looked fragile.

“I would suspect the U.S. will just hand China an ultimatum. No wonder the U.S. yield curve is almost inverting again,” he said.

The yield spread between three-month U.S. government bonds and the 10-year notes shrank to 3 basis points, compared with about 15 basis points a few weeks ago.

The closely watched spread turned negative in late March, spooking investors, who read the development as portending a recession.

The benchmark 10-year Treasury yield stood at 2.4423 percent in Europe, having touched its lowest level in five weeks of 2.426 percent on Wednesday.

Wall Street futures pointed to a 0.85 percent lower start after a choppy previous session had seen the Dow Jones Industrial close fractionally higher but the S&P 500 and Nasdaq drop 0.2 percent and 0.3 percent.

TAXI!

As well as the trade headlines, traders will also be closely watching the pricing on ride-hailing firm Uber’s initial public offering, which is set to be the biggest of the year so far.

“In the event of a complete breakdown in talks and higher tariffs, we would expect this to see U.S. stocks trade 10–15 percent below their highs and a fall of around 15–20 percent in the Chinese market,” Mark上海夜生活网 Haefele, global chief investment officer at Global Wealth Management at UBS, said.

In the currency market, the Japanese yen surged to a three-month high of 109.64 yen while China’s yuan fell half a percent to hit a four-month low of 6.838 and was headed for its worst four-day decline in a year.

Sterling, meanwhile, tried to brush off signs that Brexit talks between Britain’s government and the main opposition party may soon collapse to claw back above the psychologically key $1.30 level.

Commodity markets also felt the U.S.-China trade strains.

Brent crude futures dropped 0.6 percent to $69.92 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude also retreated 0.6 percent to $61.75 despite a surprise fall in U.S. crude stockpiles..

Benchmark London copper hit its lowest in nearly three months, going as low as $6,111 a tonne.

Congress should act on ‘scandalous’ fantasy betting: Reid

WASHINGTON ( ) – The top Democrat in the U.S. Senate called on Congress to examine fantasy-sports betting services on Tuesday after reports that an employee with access to insider information placed bets in the unregulated multi-billion-dollar industry.

“There’s absolutely scandalous conduct taking place through those programs, fantasy sports,” Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid told reporters.

“I think it also should be a warning-shot to everybody that online gaming is a real scary thing and we ought to look at all of it,” said Reid, who is a former Gaming Commission head in Nevada, a hub of the industry.

Reid’s statement raises the prospect of congressional scrutiny and possibly new regulations for websites such as DraftKings and FanDuel that have drawn millions of users who pay a fee to compete for daily prizes by assembling teams that accumulate points based on how the players did in actual games.

Meanwhile, Representative Frank Pallone and Senator Bob Menendez, both New Jersey Democrats, asked the Federal Trade Commission to look into the fantasy scandal.

Both companies confirmed on Monday that a DraftKings employee won $350,000 from a $25 entry fee in an American football contest. According to a trade group, the employee inadvertently released player data – a practice that experts liken to insider-trading.

The two privately held companies say they temporarily banned employees from playing daily fantasy sports.

The House of Representatives could hold hearings this fall, said Pallone, the top Democrat on the Energy and Commerce Committee. The Republican-controlled committee is looking into the issue, a spokesman said.

The issue could draw the attention of conservatives like House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, who has pushed to outlaw other forms of online gambling.

Critics say daily fantasy sports services allow fans to bet with a frequency akin to gambling and led to the rise of the two industry leaders.

So far, fantasy sports services have escaped the restrictions that have outlawed sports betting in most states.

The Fantasy Sports Trade Association has spent $80,000 over the past year to defend its interests in Washington, lobbying records show. The group declined to comment.

Online gambling foes who are pushing for a nationwide ban on casino-style Internet gambling are not yet targeting fantasy sports services. But they may raise th上海夜生活网e DraftKings incident as another example of perils of online betting as they make their case, according to a former congressional aide now working to ban online gambling.

General Electric CEO sets low 2019 profit targets, vows better from 2020

( ) – General Electric Co Chief Executive Larry Culp on Thursday set conservative profit targets for this year and staked his reputation on hitting them and doing better in 2020 and beyond, igniting a rally in the stock.

Culp’s detailed pep talk, which drew praise from Wall Street analysts on a conference call, swiftly reversed an earlier rout in the stock as he stressed GE was serious about its targets after years of missing profit expectations.

The forecast was low largely because GE will be spending $2.5 billion on restructuring this year,上海夜生活论坛 Culp said, adding the investment would pay off after a tough 2019.

“This is what constitutes a ‘reset,’” Culp said, using a word many analysts had longed to hear.

“The market should interpret a high level of conviction (in the forecast) simply because this team, in a public forum, is laying this roadmap out, mindful of the realities of 2019 but I think also optimistic … about the impact of what we’re doing.”

Culp did not soft-pedal the short-term pain. He said 2019 adjusted profit would be 50 cents to 60 cents a share, below analyst estimates of 70 cents, and GE could lose as much as $2 billion in cash from its industrial businesses, putting a number on a warning he issued last week.

The company expects free cash flow at GE Power to remain negative in 2020 before turning positive in 2021.

Investors are looking closely at GE’s cash and earnings after the company lost nearly $23 billion last year.

The outlook is “arguably better than expected,” said Deane Dray, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets.

The company did not make reference to any potential hit to its jet engine unit from the recent global grounding of Boeing Co’s 737 MAX aircraft. GE and partner Safran SA make the engine that powers all 737 MAX planes.

GE shares were up 2.9 percent at $10.31 in afternoon trading, after falling 4 percent in premarket activity shortly after the forecast was released. GE bonds also rose slightly.

“While lowered guidance is not a positive, we think GE’s plan and progress show it’s moving in the right direction,” said Jim Corridore, analyst at CFRA.

Culp also left considerable wiggle room in the forecast by including an unspecified amount of “contingency” money to cover hard-to-predict costs, such as when it will conclude big asset sales and how its power unit will perform.

JPMorgan analyst Stephen Tusa voiced concern that the gap between GE’s cash flow and earnings forecasts was the widest he had seen, which likely will mean analysts’ profit estimates are too high.

Culp said that although GE was taking “a safe conservative posture in this reset year … Rest assured, operationally, we’re running hard.”

Guardiola spoke about his commitment to City

Pep Guardiola, the Manchester City coach, is said to be enjoying his life in Manchester pretty well as, according to reports, he bought an apartment in the city earlier this year – and he insisted that he has been always fully committed to the club.

The Spaniard is said to be very happy at the club and he is about to stay beyond the three-year deal th上海夜生活论坛at he signed at the beginning of his reign at Manchester City. To be said, he has been very successful with his side this season so far as he is at the top of the table and managed to guide his team to the knockout stage of the Champions League.

The former Barcelona coach spoke about his commitment as he said, according to ESPN: “The commitment was the same as last season when I didn’t win. It looks like a commitment because we won, but last season it was the same. I think nothing changes — whether I buy an apartment or rent an apartment, it won’t affect the way I work or try to lead my profession. It’s good that I bought an apartment because I have to live in someplace. I’m happy to live in the city, it happened the same when I lived in Rome at Brescia and in Munich, I preferred to live in the city and be with the people.”Opinion: Martin Odegaard is perfect for the Premier League Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – Given how much he’s been rejected by Real Madrid, we are convinced that Martin Odegaard is perfect for the Premier League.Martin Odegaard is finally…

He also made a comment on his team’s injured players: “Vincent is not as bad as we thought. He will be ready for the next fixtures. We will know exactly tomorrow, but it is not a big issue. Fabian was not fit but he is much better now. Yesterday, he didn’t train but the players are off today. We will see. Fabian is a similar case to Vincent — he knows his body.”

In the end, Pep Guardiola insisted that John Stones is also doing well: “John Stones is also much better. Yesterday he made first complete training session, but he is not ready for 90 minutes. I think he will be fit for the next game which is huge news for us. Silva — we will see in the next days.”

Pochettino urged Kane to play even better

Mauricio Pochettino, the Tottenham coach, admitted that he believes that Harry Kane, his side’s best striker, can continue in his improvement and will start to play even better than he has done so far this season.

The Englishman managed to score a hat-trick in his team’s latest 3-0 away win against Burnley and he proved himself to be a key player for the Spurs once again. His coach admitted that the young England international is very important for his system of play but he also claimed that he can see a space for a possible improvement and he hopes that Kane will not stop with his progress.

The former Southampton coach spoke about his star striker as he said, according to ESPN: “I think he still can improve. He’s 24, I think the player arrives at their best at 27, 28, 29, depending on how professional you are. But Harry Kane, if he keeps that mentality, keeps working hard every day in the training sessions and never changes that mentality, he can play until he wants to.”Opinion: Martin Odegaard is perfect for the Premier League Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – Given how much he’s been rejected by Real Madrid, we are convinced that Martin Odegaard is perfect for the Premier League.Martin Odegaard is finally…

He continued by adding that Kane can break Shearer’s record: “Of course the record of Alan is fantastic. He was a fantastic player, but Harry is doing so well. I think Alan was consistent during 10 years scoring goals and you need to show massive respect because it was amazing what he did. Now Harry is doing well, we hope for Tottenham, for him, for everyone that loves the club, tha上海夜生活网t every season he scores 50 or more than 50.”

In the end, Mauricio Pochettino insisted that his team have to start being consistent: “We need to keep the momentum, to try to win again, to be consistent. If we want to fight at the end for big things we must try to be consistent. But I’m sure that the team is focused, like we showed today. It was tough last week against City, but the team is in a good way.”

Shearer certain Kane can score anywhere

The England international broke a Premier League record as Spurs won 5-2 against Southampton on Boxing Day.

Alan Shearer believes that Tottenham Hotspur forward Harry Kane has what it takes to perform for a time like Barcelona or Real Madrid.

Kane scored a hat-trick on Tueday against the Saints, taking his record to 39 Premier League goals in 2017 and surpassing Alan Shearer’s record.

Kane’s consistent output of solid performance has seen him linked with a number of European giants and Shearer believes that the interest from other clubs might prove a big problem for Spurs, especially if Kane seeks to win trophies.

“Not only has he beaten my calendar-year record in the Premier League, but with his second successive hat-trick he eclipsed Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo for goals in all competitions in 2017 for club and country,” Shearer wrote in The Sun .Berbatov: It’s not the right time for Pochettino to move George Patchias – Dimitar Berbatov doesn’t think it’s t上海夜生活论坛he right time for Mauricio Pochettino to leave Tottenham Hotspurs or for him to join the likes of Madrid…

“That is some company to be in but, believe me, he could score goals for Barcelona and Real Madrid as well. There lies the problem for Spurs going forward, of course

“The club will not want to move into their brand new stadium without their biggest star. ‘One of our own’ as the Spurs faithful chant.

“But things have stalled a bit on the pitch after title tilts in the last two seasons, although they have been impressive in the Champions League.”

Meanwhile Kane is on the right track of securing a third consecutive Premier League Golden boot, an achievement only done by Shearer(1994-97) and Thierry Henry(2003-06).

Sarri: “Manchester City are the best in Europe”

Napoli head coach Maurizio Sarri has declared the Citizens as ‘clearly the best team in Europe’ right now.

The Partenopei will be facing Manchester City in England for the first match between the two clubs in the Champions League. Both sides have been enjoying an incredible start of the season, with each of the clubs taking the first seat in their respective leagues.

Despite Napoli’s remarkable start of the season, their manager noted that his team is taking on the ‘best club’ in Europe right now.

“They win all their games with at least five goals,” Sarri pointed out in his pre-match Press conference, according to Football Italia.

“The last time they didn’t score a goal was August, and they’re also strong in the defensive phase. It will be very hard.

“They seem unbalanced, but they’re not they always press the ball with a lot of men. I’ve seen important things from City, though I haven’t watched上海夜网 too many matches as I didn’t want to spoil other evenings.Willian warns Chelsea of ‘difficult’ Ajax threat Andrew Smyth – Willian admits Chelsea will need to prepare well for their next Champions League clash at Ajax after overcoming Lille OSC 2-0 on Wednesday.

“They’re clearly the best team in Europe.

The Napoli coach also took the time to thank his colleague Pep Guardiola as the Catalan had nothing but applause for Sarri.

“All I can do is thank him and congratulate him, because he’s clearly the best Coach in the world.

“30 years ago [Arrigo] Sacchi left his mark on football, and in a few years we’ll realise how important Guardiola was.

“If someone like him compliments you, you can only be happy.”

Neville: “Arsenal showed how good they could be”

It was a bit surprising result as Arsenal managed to win the north London derby against Tottenham and after a 2-0 win, there is just a one-point difference between these two sides.

The former Manchester United defender, Gary Neville, is certain that Arsenal just finally showed their full potential as they were the dominant side in this crucial match against their main rivals. Shkodran Mustafi scored the winning goal and hugely criticized Alexis Sanchez added the second – Tottenham were completely eliminated by the Gunners and they didn’t show barely anything in this game.

Gary Neville hadn’t thought even before the match that Arsenal was going to lose this one as he said, according to Sky Sports: “I didn’t think Arsenal would lose before the game being honest because I think after international duty, to go away from home at 12.30pm, is not easy. But that’s as good as I’ve seen Ar上海夜生活senal, it really is. I wondered after ten minutes would they be able to keep it up? Is it just a bold start that would fizzle out? But it was a really, really good performance. Overall my assessment of the game today was Arsenal were absolutely fantastic from number one to 11. There wasn’t a poor performer.”Top 5 Premier League players in September’s last weekend Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – A fresh Premier League fixture just ended, which means we can talk about the Top 5 best players of September’s last weekend.After a fresh…

He evaluated the match further on: “From minute one, they pressed onto that Tottenham back three, made them anxious and made them nervous. A very good back three as well by the way. I have to say I thought the intent from that front three, supported well and sustained by Granit Xhaka and Aaron Ramsey, won them the game in terms of setting the tone.”

In the end, the Red Devils legend added: “If you think about the teams I played in and you’ll have seen it yourself over the years when the best players in the team are setting the tone and working hard and making challenges the rest of you follow and come with you.”

Cahill warns Manchester City

Chelsea defender Gary Cahill says Manchester City will have a tough time keeping their form up, and believes Chelsea can still catch the league leaders

The league leaders’ unbeaten start does not scare the centre-back, who is confident his side can reduce the points deficit over the campaign, GOAL reports.

Cahill believes talking about Manchester City as champions so early in the season is premature, and is confident the Blues have enough time to catch up with City once their performance falls.

“They’ve started off full steam ahead and that’s great for them, but we’re not even at Christmas yet, so let’s just hold fire and see how they get on,” the centre-back told Chelsea’s website.

“They look fantastic at the moment and we have taken a fair bit of criticism at times this season, but we’ve had three clean sheets on the bounce in the league now, it was a great performance and we’ve got a long way still to go.”Top 5 Premier League players in September’s last weekend Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – A fresh Premier League fixture just ended, which means we can talk about the Top 5 best players of September’s last weekend.After a fresh…

When Cahill was asked about Chelsea’s performance in their 4-0 victory over West Brom this weekend, the defender claimed he was delighted with how they have played.

“I have to admit it was a superb performance from us, from every single player, and collectively we are very happy,” the 31-year-old said.

“I felt we pl上海夜生活ayed some good football, we kept the ball when we needed to and we scored goals. We saw a bit of everything from us, so performance-wise it was very, very good.”

“I’m sure they found it very difficult to play against us, we always seemed to have an option to get out of trouble and there was a lot of composure on the ball, which allowed us to keep it for long periods,” Cahill explained.

Chelsea is now on a four-game winning streak as they are about to face Qarabag away from home in the Champions League on Wednesday.

Real need someone like Mbappe

Former Madrid star Steve McManaman thinks Real need a player like Mbappe, and not Harry Kane

Steve McManaman says Los Blancos should be looking for a young prospect like Kylian Mbappe. The former 上海夜生活Real star doesn’t like the idea of spending €200 million on Tottenham striker Harry Kane.

Real Madrid continue to be linked with Spurs’ outstanding attacker, Harry Kane. The English striker has already been called as the “successor” of Cristiano Ronaldo.

Kane’s impressive form for both Spurs and England has made him Real Madrid’s target. The English striker has won two Golden Boot awards in the last two seasons in London and is likely to win the third one at the end of this season.

McManaman, though, feels that Real would be better advised signing a player with potential to unlock rather than paying over the odds for a proven performer, GOAL reports.

The former Real midfielder spoke to MARCA before the highly-expected game between Tottenham and Real Madrid at Wembley:  “I would prefer [to sign] a young boy like Kylian Mbappe.”

“It’s very difficult to sign Kane. The price of footballers today is crazy,” McManaman said.Explaining FC Barcelona’s war between players and board Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – We need to shed some light into what is actually happening between FC Barcelona’s players and the board of directors.We need to address this…

The 45-year-old retired midfielder said he can’t understand Kane’s price: “You need to pay €200 million for Kane and I do not understand those figures.”

While McManaman feels a big-money move for Kane makes little financial sense, he does believe that the 24-year-old would find it easy to settle in Spain, GOAL continues.

Not many players are willing to make the move from the Premier League to any Spanish clubs, because of the huge differences in for example culture and language.

McManaman added: “In England the clubs are very professional, and it is a great place to be.”

The 45-year-old said Kane wouldn’t have problems with getting around in Madrid, and Real players who speak English could easily help him.

“Kane can stay in London because he is happy with his family. But if he moved to Real Madrid, surely he wouldn’t have problems adapting.”

“Cristiano Ronaldo, Luka Modric and other players speak English and can help him. Madrid is also a beautiful city,” he concluded.

Pickford sure that his side won’t be relegated

It has been a terrible season so far for the Toffees but their goalkeeper, Jordan Pickford, is confident that they can turn it around and avoid the relegation but they need to focus on themselves and improve.

Everton are currently placed 18th in the Premier League table and they are out of the Europa League after just four matches being played – now, they are about to face Watford at home and it’s going to be a crucial match for them as they need to escape the relegation zone in order to boost their confidence.

The former Sunderland goalkeeper and summer arrival, Jordan Pickford, is sure that his side won’t be relegated as he said, according to Goal: “It’s not been ideal but we are not far away from winning games. We’re not a club that is going to be in the bottom three for long I’d say. It’s just that the luck hasn’t come our way yet. It’s a totally different scenario for myself from last season. I think one win will get us to 13th or something in the league.”Wijnaldum looking to repeat Champions League success Nedim Maric – Liverpool are the reigning winners of the Champions League. However, this isn’t stopping them for aiming to get the glory once again.After a perfect…

And he knows that his side have to start improving to regain the confidence: “Then that one win can become back-to-back wins, and that is where the confidence grows, and it starts Sunday. We have had a bad lot of games. I love playing games week in week out, but it has been a change with the Europa League. That may have affected us. But we can’t be making excuses. We have to just move forward, dig in and get the win.”

The England international believes that his teammates are experienced enough to turn it around: “You have [fellow summer signing Wayne] Rooney, you have a lot of people who have been successful. The senior pros have all been successful in their careers, and that is where they help us. And then that is when the young lads become big characters when上海夜网 they wear their hearts on their sleeves in the games. We won’t be struggling – it will only make us go forward and get the wins that we need.”

Barcelona monitoring Leverkusen trio

Barcelona are looking for solutions to boost their squad options and they have put three Bayer Leverkusen players on their list.

Barcelona had a good start of the season, finding themselves at the top of La Liga table, five points clear of rivals Real Madrid. However, the Catalans are still looking for reinforcements, after a summer in 上海夜生活网which their transfer business was far from impressive.

Having lost Neymar to PSG for €222m, the Catalans spent the rest of the transfer window looking for worthy replacements. And although they have been linked with some very big names, they have only brought in Ousmane Dembele from Borussia Dortmund. Furthermore, the French forward got injured two weeks into the season and will be unavailable for the rest of the year.Pique sends a warning message to the board after Barcelona scrape the win against… Nedim Maric – The turmoil at the beginning of the season caused a lot of concerns at Barcelona.Shaky start of the season for Barca saw them get…

Although reports suggest that Barcelona have not given up at the thought of bringing Philippe Coutinho from Liverpool, the Catalans are also looking for alternatives. The Spanish newspaper Sport writes that Ernesto Valverde’s side are currently monitoring three Bayer Leverkusen players: Jonathan Tah, Julian Brandt and Leon Bailey.

Jonathan Tah is a 21-year-old centre back who has attracted a lot of interest lately, especially from Premier League clubs. Leon Bailey (20) and Julian Brandt (21) are both wingers that can play on any side of the attack. Brandt is a German international and has also attracted interest from major clubs, Bayern Munich monitoring his progress in Bundesliga.

The three Leverkusen players could prove to be a worthy alternative to Philippe Coutinho, as they will probably require around the same transfer fee expenditure, but would in turn provide much more options in the squad. Furthermore, all three of them are very young and have a lot of playing time ahead of them, as well as margins for further development.

Eriksson insists Rooney deserves more praise

The former England manager believes the Everton striker did not receive the respect he should have.

Wayne Rooney deserved to be loved by the English crowd just like Francesco Totti was in Italy, insists Sven-Göran Eriksson.

The former Manchester United striker retired from the national squad in August after scoring 53 goals in 119 caps for England. Yet, he was widely criticized for his performances despite his great record for the Three Lions throughout his 上海夜网career.

Eriksson, who was in the managerial position of England from 2001 to 2006, thinks that Rooney deserved more from the fans, comparing the Englishman to Italy legend Totti.Rooney’s soon to be new club Derby in drink driving shame George Patchias – Wayne Rooney’s soon to be new club Derby County, has been shamed by a double player drink driving incident.Reports surface ate Tuesday night of…

“The treatment of Wayne Rooney told me something about the way England fans view the national team,” the Swede wrote in the Daily Mail.

“He’s the record goalscorer for both Manchester United and England: you can’t argue with that.

“If Rooney had been Italian, he would have been loved like Francesco Totti was at Roma. You don’t criticise Totti in Italy. There might have been reasons to, sometimes, but you don’t touch him.

“It isn’t like that with Wayne and England but I can tell you that he had to be dragged away from training because he loved to play and practice so much.”

Griezmann linked with Barcelona

Latest rumours suggest that the Catalans will try to lure the Frenchman, following failed attempts to sign Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho.

Atletico Madrid star Antoine Griezmann is Barcelona’s latest target as they seek to find a replacement for Neymar, who will seemingly join Paris Saint-Germain. However, Juanfran claims that the 26-yaer-old is happy in Madrid an上海夜生活论坛d has no reason to leave.

The France international recently extended his contract at Los Colchoneros, which will keep him at Atletico Madrid until 2022.

After his side came victorious against Napoli, with Torres and Vietto scoring for the the La Liga club, Juanfran told AS.

“We are open to the market. It is getting a little crazy and any operation can affect you,Paiva says Felix would have done better at City or Barca George Patchias – Joao Felix would have become a better player at Manchester City or Barcelona according to former coach Renato Paiva.Renato Paiva was the prodigious Portuguese…

“Griezmann is happy at the Atleti and we want to give everything for the Atleti.”

Upon reaching the final, Juanfran stated:

“It’s a sign of identity, the coach [Diego Simeone] has instilled it. We always want to win, give our best and the fans will be proud of us because we want to win,” he added.

“Now we play the final of the Audi Cup, which is what we wanted.”

Manchester United close to a deal for Nemanja Matic

According to ESPN sources the Chelsea midfielder could sign before the end of this weekWritten by – Nikolay Nikolov, June 26, 2017.

Manchester United are closing in on a deal for Nemanja Matic from Chelsea according to ESPN sources. Moreover, it is reported that the midfielder could sign by the end of the week.

After Tottenham showed no intention of selling Eric Dier, Matic has become Mourinho’s top target in his attempt to find a new defensive midfielder.

Another factor influencing the deal is that Tiemoue Bakayoko from Monaco is very close to a move to Chelsea and if the deal goes through he will most probably be the preferred choice when it comes to the holding midfielder role.Kane: Spurs out of excuses after shock Carabao Cup exit Andrew Smyth – Harry Kane concedes that Tottenham only have themselves to blame following a shock Carabao Cup exit at the hands of Colchester United.

United will have to pay around £40m for the 28-year-old Serbian, who scored 1 goal and provided 7 assists in 30 Premier League games last season, as his side became Champions.

Since the end of last season, Manchester United have added only上海夜生活网 1 player to their squad, with Sweden defender Victor Lindelof coming from Benfica earlier this month.

Mourinho will be looking to sign Matic before the United States tour starting on 9th of July.

Other targets that are being followed by United are Alvaro Morata and Ivan Perisic. However, both of the deals are still in initial talks phase.

Inter’s persistence pays off

After weeks of rumours and testing the field, Internazionale Milano have finally managed to arrange a meeting with their number one target.Written by Cosmin Mihalescu. May 1, 2017.

Diego Simeone would be interested in the role of manager on Giuseppe Meazza, in case he finally manages to win the Champions League with Atletico.

Having spent the last weeks trying to persuade Simeone to listen to their plans, Inter have now arranged a meeting with the Argentinian and they are set to make him an official offer.

The Italian giants have prepared an openin上海夜网g offer of €6m per season for Simeone and they will test his reaction after the second leg of the Champions League semi finals that Atletico will play against local rivals Real Madrid.Inter Milan V Lazio: Players to Watch Taimoor Khan – Inter Milan are set to host Lazio at the San Siro on Thursday and the game is definitely going to be an exciting affair…

In order to persuade Simeone, Nerazzurri are willing to guarantee him total control of the transfer policy at the club, with promises of huge investments from the new Chinese owners.

One obstacle in Cholo’s way to Milan might be his current contract that expires in 2018 and the promise that he has made to the Atletico board that he will lead them into the next season, which will see them move into their new stadium.

However, an eventual victory in the Champions League final would be regarded as the completion of a cycle by the Argentinian coach and he would then be more willing to consider a fresh start somewhere else.

Simeone has played for Inter between 1997 and 1999 and has always made it clear that he would like to return to Giuseppe Meazza as a manager later in his career. Another ace in the sleeve of Inter is their current vice-president, Javier Zanetti, who is a very good friend of Simeone, from their playing time for both Inter and Argentina.

Oil drops 3% on weak global economic data, U.S. crude stocks build

NEW YORK ( ) – Oil prices shed 3% on Wednesday after fresh Chinese and European economic revived global demand fears and U.S. crude inventories rose unexpectedly for the second week in a row.

Brent crude LCOc1 settled at $59.48 a barrel, shedding $1.82, or 3%, losing some of the previous session’s sharp gains after the United States moved to delay tariffs on some Chinese products.

The global benchmark rose 4.7% on Tuesday, its biggest daily percentage gain since December.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 settled at $55.23 a barrel, falling $1.87, or 3.3%, after having risen 4% the previous session, the most in just over a month.

China reported disappointing data for July, including a surpris上海夜网e drop in industrial output growth to a more than 17-year low, underlining widening economic cracks as the trade war with the United States intensifies.

The global economic slowdown, amplified by tariff conflicts and uncertainty over Brexit, is also hitting European economies. A slump in exports sent Germany’s economy into reverse in the second quarter, data showed.

The euro zone’s GDP barely grew in the second quarter of 2019.

“The data out of China, the potential recession brewing in Germany, all of that is playing into global demand worries,” said Phil Flynn, an analyst at Price Futures Group in Chicago. “Today, we’re back in fear mode.”

The U.S. Treasury bond yield curve inverted for the first time since 2007, in a sign of investor concern that the world’s biggest economy could be heading for recession.

“With much focus today shifting toward the inversion in the two versus 10-year bond yields, global risk appetite saw another major contraction that easily flowed into the oil space,” Jim Ritterbusch, president of Ritterbusch and Associates, said.

Graphic: Yield curve inversions, recessions & U.S. stocks – tmsnrt.rs/2MZidOp

A second week of unexpected builds in U.S. crude inventories added to the pressure on the oil markets.

U.S. crude stocks USOILC=ECI grew by 1.6 million barrels last week, compared with analysts’ expectations for a decrease of 2.8 million barrels, as refineries cut output, the Energy Information Administration said in its report. At 440.5 million barrels, inventories were about 3% above the five-year average for this time of year, the EIA said in its weekly report.

“Countering this bearish (crude) build has been draws to both gasoline and distillates amid strong implied demand,” said Matt Smith, director of commodity research at ClipperData in Louisville, Kentucky.

Gasoline stocks fell by 1.4 million barrels, compared with analysts’ expectations in a poll for an increase of 25,000 barrels, as demand jumped to a record 9.93 million barrels per day, according to EIA data going back to 1991.

Graphic: U.S. crude inventories, weekly changes since 2017 – tmsnrt.rs/2y7mC9g