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FirstFT – Pound rallies on sign of Brexit deal vote, Isis ‘using human shields’ and the dealmaker who was duped

Summary:
Sign up to receive FirstFT by email hereChina’s economy grew 6.7 per cent in the third quarter of 2016, putting the country firmly on track to meet the government’s full-year target of at least 6.5 per cent growth. But many analysts believe the growth has been the byproduct of a dangerous expansion in credit, especially for real estate developments and state-backed infrastructure projects.A boom in property values in metropolises such as Beijing, Shanghai and their environs — up 25 per cent or higher over the past year alone, according to Savills China — has spread to smaller cities this year. More than 20 urban governments across China have recently introduced measures to restrain house prices.China’s National Bureau of Statistics warned on Thursday: “With unstable and uncertain

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China’s economy grew 6.7 per cent in the third quarter of 2016, putting the country firmly on track to meet the government’s full-year target of at least 6.5 per cent growth. But many analysts believe the growth has been the byproduct of a dangerous expansion in credit, especially for real estate developments and state-backed infrastructure projects.

A boom in property values in metropolises such as Beijing, Shanghai and their environs — up 25 per cent or higher over the past year alone, according to Savills China — has spread to smaller cities this year. More than 20 urban governments across China have recently introduced measures to restrain house prices.

China’s National Bureau of Statistics warned on Thursday: “With unstable and uncertain domestic and external factors, the foundation for continued economic growth is not solid enough.”

In the news

Isis shifts its narrative Iraqi forces say they captured 20 villages in the first 24 hours of the offensive to take the city of Mosul from Isis fighters. The FT’s Erika Solomon reports from near the front lines in recaptured Badana al-Sagheera, and finds a town strewn with booby traps, secret tunnels and landmines. Meanwhile the jihadis are shifting their narrative as their so-called caliphate erodes, reminding devotees that the group does not need a territorial entity to survive. (FT, NYT)

UK jobs buoyant after Brexit The UK jobless rate held steady at a near 11-year low of 4.9 per cent in the three months to August, figures show. According to the Office for National Statistics there was a “small” rise of 10,000 to 1.66m. However, economists are warning that Brexit-related uncertainty could slow employment growth in the coming year. (BBC, FT)

Join the debate: What is the best deal for Britain’s economic and political relationship with the EU?

Leonardo DiCaprio breaks silence over 1MDB The Hollywood actor contacted US authorities after allegations surfaced in July that money stolen from a Malaysian development fund was used to finance his film The Wolf of Wall Street. (FT)

Assange cut off Ecuador has restricted the internet access of Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder who has been holed up in its London embassy since 2012. The Ecuadorean foreign ministry said it was concerned Mr Assange could be trying to influence the US election after WikiLeaks released three transcripts of paid speeches Hillary Clinton made to US bank Goldman Sachs. (FT)

Vietnam’s unlikely alliance Can milk and smartphones go together? Two companies in Vietnam are betting that they can. Vietnam Dairy Products and FPT Retail, the country’s largest IT services provider, have announced a partnership that they hope will allow both companies to benefit from each other’s customer base. (NAR)

It’s a big day for

Europe’s space agency Its Schiaparelli Mars probe will attempt to land on Mars for a data-gathering mission. (BBC)

The US presidential race Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will meet for the final presidential debate before the November 8 election. (NBC)

Keep track of the 2016 presidential race with our daily US politics newsletter. Sign up here.

Food for thought

The war against low interest rates Martin Wolf argues that governments must tread carefully when criticising central banks. “What Mrs May has done so far is cause confusion.” (FT)

Zungueira Run Forget Temple Run — the addictive game app where players run through temples, dodging hazards — Angolan developers have developed their own version where a peddler woman, or zungueira, weaves through city traffic with a basket on her head collecting coins and fleeing the taxman. (Quartz)

The dealmaker who was duped On Wall Street, Andrew Hall is known as an aggressive trader whose keen eye for opportunity has earned him $100m bonuses. So how did a 68-year-old small-town art history professor and her son swindle him out of $750,000? (NYT) 

California green dreaming The state has attracted criticism over the plan to shut its last nuclear plant as part of its bid to cut emissions. (FT)

Fear and loathing in the Kremlin Journalist Mikhail Zygar delves into the mysterious workings and strange machinations of the Kremlin, where the “biggest crime is being disloyal”. The decision to annex Crimea was out of the blue and KGB psychics say the US is “jealous of Russia’s great natural resources”. Or says so Mr Zygar. (The Guardian)

Video of the day

Coal country confronts Clinton and Trump Voters in America’s coal country tell the FT’s Barney Jopson what they think of the two US presidential candidates. (FT)

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Bryan Harris
Bryan Harris is a lead writer at Financial Times. He is a Hong Kong-based journalist with a penchant for international crime stories.

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