By Jessica Toonkel, Kate Holton and Pamela Barbaglia NEW YORK/LONDON (Reuters) - Rupert Murdoch's Twenty-First Century Fox Inc has struck a preliminary deal to buy the 61 percent of British pay-TV firm Sky Plc it does not already own for around $14 billion, five years after a political scandal wrecked a previous bid. The proposed offer of 10.75 pounds a share in cash, which is backed by Sky's independent directors, would strengthen the position of James Murdoch - who is both chief executive of Fox and chairman of Sky - in his 85-year-old father's media empire. People familiar with the matter said Fox had pounced after Britain's vote to leave the European Union in June sent the pound down about 14 percent against the U.S. dollar and Sky's share price tumbling.
Next week's Federal Reserve meeting and possible signals on the pace of rate hikes for next year could pose the biggest risk yet to the rally the U.S. stock market has seen since last month's presidential election. While investors have long anticipated the Fed will raise rates at the Dec. 13-14 meeting - in what would be its first such move in a year and second in nearly a decade - the worry for some stock investors is that the Fed takes a more aggressive stance on inflation and future hikes. Stocks have set a string of record highs since the Nov. 8 election on hopes of a pickup in U.S. economic growth, thanks to President-elect Donald Trump's promises of increased infrastructure spending, lower taxes and easier regulations.
Russia and Saudi Arabia said they expect OPEC and non-OPEC producers to reach an agreement on Saturday to curtail oil output and prop up prices in the first such joint move since 2001. Everything is good!" Khalid al-Falih, energy minister of OPEC's de facto leader and top oil exporter Saudi Arabia, told reporters. Oil prices have more than halved in the past two years after Saudi Arabia raised output steeply in an attempt to drive higher-cost producers such as U.S. shale firms out of the market.