Category Archives: Business

National Corvette Museum will fill sinkhole which became an internet hit

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Eurozone fears of stagnation grow as France and Italy suffer

A stubborn lack of growth, rather than collapse, is now the enemy. But agreement is elusive Continue reading…
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Bitcoin entrepreneur Charlie Shrem will plead guilty on US charges

Former vice chairman of the Bitcoin Foundation reaches plea deal over alleged unlicensed money transmissionBitcoin entrepreneur Charlie Shrem has reached a plea deal to resolve US charges that he engaged in a scheme to sell over $1m of the digital curr…
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North Sea corporation tax income falls by 18%

Minister Danny Alexander calls slump in oil and gas tax receipts ‘a body blow’ for Scottish independence campaign

The Scottish independence campaign has received “a body blow” with new figures showing tax receipts from North Sea oil and gas have dropped by almost a fifth, according to the chief secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander.

Figures released on Friday by HM Revenue & Customs show corporation tax revenues from the North Sea have fallen from £4.4bn in 2012-13 to £3.6bn in 2013-14. This would have “serious consequences for the public finances of a separate Scotland”, Alexander said.

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Kim Jong-un’s banker defects in Russia, say reports

Yun Tae-hyong, a senior official at Korea Daesong Bank, vanished last week in Nakhodka with $5m, claims newspaper Continue reading…
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US growth rate revised up; Eurozone economic confidence hit by Ukraine crisis business live

Rolling business and financial news through the day

3.22pm BST

Another piece of good news from America — the Pending Home Sales index (measuring how many people have signed contracts to buy a house), has hit its highest level in almost a year.

It rose n 3.3% in July to its highest point since last August, suggesting the US housing market is picking up.

Regional Pending Home Sales vs. Existing Home Sales: {ECWB P 53FF369C01F00019<Go>} pic.twitter.com/z5KxQF8ciY

2.47pm BST

Barclays analysts also predict decent US growth for the rest of this year, as America puts the bad weather last winter behind it:

US real GDP growth revised up to 4.2% in Q2 – Barclays: “We continue to look for H2 real GDP growth of 2.5%, up from 1.0% in H1 as a whole”

2.45pm BST

The strong US growth figures isnt stopping shares from falling on Wall Street in early trading.

The Dow Jones has dropped by nearly 100 points, or 0.6%, to 17022, as New York traders show their concern over reports of Russian troops making incursions into Ukraine (see details here)

2.19pm BST

These new GDP figures are a good sign for the US economy this year, says Paul Hales of Capital Economics:

He reckons that it could suggest decent growth in the current quarter:

The upward revision was due to faster business investment growth and a smaller drag from net trade more than offsetting smaller positive contributions from inventories and government spending. The alternative gross domestic income (GDI) measure suggests that the economy was even stronger in the second quarter, growing by 4.7%. Whats more, the upward revision to the growth of real personal disposable income (4.2% vs. 3.8%) bodes well for consumption growth in the second half of the year.

Of course, more important is the recent widespread strengthening in the business and consumer surveys, which suggests that GDP growth in the third quarter could be a decent 3.0%. So although the weak first quarter means that GDP growth this year as a whole is still likely to be around 2.0%, a strong second half of the year sets things up nicely for growth of 3.0% next year.

We believe there is limited scope for profits to continue to grow rapidly when a cyclical rebound in labours share of income is on the cards.

2.13pm BST

The 4.2% growth in second-quarter GDP was helped by an upward revision to business investment http://t.co/xNBZUMRq54 pic.twitter.com/Z3BHJ5NTFp

1.52pm BST

Some instant reaction to the news that Americas economy grew faster than we thought last quarter:

Looking at Q2 GDP revisions. It’s all about investment. Non resi investment added 0.35% from 1st to 2nd read, 0.19% equipment.

Another note on Q2 GDP. Inventory contribution *fell* by 27 bps from initial estimate to the second read. Good for Q3 estimates.

If you’d told someone in 2007 that US GDP would be growing 4.2%pa and the 10yr UST would be 2.3%, they’d think you were mad.

1.40pm BST

The US economy grew even faster than first thought, highlighting the strength of its recovery after last winters disruption.

Revised data, just released, shows that Americas GDP expanded at an annual rate of 4.2% in the second quarter of this year. Thats around 1.05% quarter-on-quarter.

BOOM GDP. 4.2%.

Second estimate of US GDP for Q2 comes in at +4.2%. Slightly better than initial estimate of +4.0%.

1.25pm BST

Credit Agricoles Frederik Ducrozet has crunched through todays German inflation data, and reckons that tomorrows reading for eurozone CPI could be better than expected.

However, with most economists predicting a fall from 0.4% to 0.3%, the figures wont be great — as analyst Lorcan Roche Kelly points out:

@fwred upside surprise when we are expecting 0.3% is probably not going to be enough..

1.14pm BST

The German inflation rate held steady at 0.8% thanks to a rise in service sector costs, which countered a big drop in energy prices. Food inflation also ticked up.

Heres the details:

German consumer prices flash estimate: 0.8%. No upward surprise despite better state-level data. https://t.co/yQPJgJeTY0

1.07pm BST

German inflation steady at 0.8% in August, as expected, and perhaps the nail in the coffin for any ECB easing next week.

1.06pm BST

JUST IN. Germanys inflation rate has held steady this month, according to data just released by the Federal Statistics Office.

The harmonised German consumer prices index came in at +0.8% year-on-year for August, the same as last month.

German #inflation stable at +0.8 in August. Eurozone out tomorrow pic.twitter.com/vTtNi9YLKw

German inflation holds steady at 0.8 pct in August pic.twitter.com/38ECKBQeQm

12.52pm BST

These reports of Russian troop movements into Ukraine have also pushed investors into safer eurozone government bonds.

German bunds are as popular as ever. This has driven down the interest rate, or yield, on 10-year bunds to just 0.88% today.

Amazing. RT @ReutersJamie: Germany’s 30-year borrowing costs – yes, that’s THIRTY – stand at just 1.72%: pic.twitter.com/A6ixlz3Fgy

12.50pm BST

Sr @NATO military officer says they see 20,000 Russian troops in #Ukraine border region.

12.17pm BST

Global stock markets are in retreat, led by a sell-off in Moscow, after Ukraines president declared that Russian troops had entered his country.

Russias MICEX has slid by almost 2%, and the German DAX is down 1.3%, as geopolitics looms over the financial sector again.

‘This is invasion’ Standing in the rain, Ukraine’s @Poroshenko addresses the nation. Dramatic https://t.co/TPo6qaKFQU pic.twitter.com/LDFN5d66RL

Reuters correction: Poroshenko says Russian troops have been brought into Ukraine (not “Russian military invasion has taken place”)

A mixture of soldiers, police and volunteers are fortifying a checkpoint designed to defend the city of nearly 500,000 from pro-Russian forces who took control of part of the town of Novoazovsk, and are gradually moving towards Mariupol.

When civilian cars approach the exit of the city leading to Novoazovsk, pro-Ukrainian fighters warn them to go back for their own safety. Ukrainian fighters falling back from Novoazovsk say they have not totally given up the town but are outnumbered by their adversaries.

Donetsk PR commander tells #Russia state TV that up to 4,000 Russians have fought in Ukraine. Some active duty soldiers “on vacation.”

12.14pm BST

Back in Paris, the French government is trying to defuse the row that broke out this morning after the new economy minister suggested abolishing the 35-hour working week.

Prime minister Manuel Valls office has insisted there are no plans to make the French work longer hours. In a statement, it said:

The government has no intention of going back on the legal length of the working week.

11.51am BST

Todays slide in eurozone economic confidence shows that the escalating tensions between Russia and the West, and unrest in the Middle East, are hitting Europes economy.

Jyrki Katainen, the former Finnish prime minister and current EC commissioner, says:

The fall in economic confidence in Europe in August, particularly among industry and consumers, is not a surprise following the disappointing second quarter growth figures and the geopolitical tensions that have marked this summer. (via Reuters)

It seems that the ongoing geopolitical tensions are finally starting to take their toll on overall sentiment across the euro region.

11.05am BST

Deutsche Bank is taking a turn on the naughty step today. Its just been fined £4.7m by the City watchdog, the FCA, for failing to record almost 30 million derivative transactions.

This makes Deutsche the 11th firm to be fined for reporting failings. FCA enforcement director Tracey McDermott says there is simply no excuse for not getting it right.

10.37am BST

Europes businesses and consumers are less confidence about economic prospects, according to the latest survey conducted by the European Commission.

The EC found that morale in the retail, consumer and industry sectors has fallen this month, to its lowest level of 2014.

After a broadly flat development over the last five months, Augusts decrease shifted the euro area headline indicator back to its December 2013 level. Worsened sentiment resulted from deterioration in retail trade, consumer, industry, and, to a lesser extent, services confidence. Construction confidence remained broadly unchanged.

Sentiment dropped significantly in Italy (-4.1), sending the ESI below its long-term average of 100, and in Germany (-1.9). Milder contractions were booked also in France (-0.6) and the Netherlands (-0.8), while sentiment remained flat in Spain.

10.07am BST

CSR, the Cambridge-based Internet Of Things chipmaker, has just told the City that it has turned down a takeover approach.

In a brief statement, the company said it had rejected an approach from US-based Microchip Technologies, and is now pondering its options.

The Board of CSR plc (CSR) notes recent press speculation and confirms that it has received an approach regarding a possible offer for the company from Microchip.

The price proposed by Microchip has been rejected and the Board is considering its options for the company.

9.50am BST

Amid the steady stream of economic data, Italys retail sales slide has bottomed out.

Sales were flat month-on-month in June, after a 0.6% decline in May. That left spending 2.6% lower than a year ago, due to weak consumer spending and weak price rises.

9.41am BST

More German regional inflation data has hit the wires, and it also suggests the overall reading (at 1pm) wont be a shocker.

Consumer prices in Bavaria rose by 0.1% month-on-month, and are 0.8% higher annually – in line with the forecast for Germany overall.

Figures look consistent with Eurozone headline HICP at 0.3% YoY and core stable at 0.8%. Not the kind of shock needed for sovereign QE.

9.27am BST

And this chart shows that while M3 money supply has picked up, loans to private firms in the eurozone are still falling, albeit at a slower rate.

9.14am BST

We also have encouraging news on money supply in the eurozone.

The M3 measure of money supply (the broadest one), jumped by 1.8% year-on-year in July. That beats expectations of a 1.5% rise.

Monetary developments in the euro area http://t.co/SVJtFooaCh

EZ M3 beats at 1.8% … thats quite a good signal for a change.

M3 details – weak credit flows pre AQR: +2bn for households; -16bn for non-financial corporations (adj. for securitisation).

9.02am BST

Just in: The number of people out of work in Germany has risen this month.

The seasonally adjusted jobless total rose by 1,000 in August, to 2.901 million people, dashing predictions of a fall of around 5,000 people.

German unemployment rises marginally by 1k in August (RT poll was for -5k), unemployment rate holds steady at 6.7% pic.twitter.com/qceLdXUhMW

8.52am BST

Update: Laurent Berger, head of the CFDT trade union, went on to insist that Frances 35-hour week could not be abolished, as economy minister Macron suggests.

He told TV news that:

It is out of the question. The subject is closed.

8.47am BST

Frances new economy minister has raised the possibility of abolishing the countrys 35-hour working week in a bid to improve competitiveness, angering the countrys unions.

We could authorise companies and sectors, provided there is a majority (union) agreement on this, to have exceptions to the rules on working time and remuneration

New French Economy Minister Macron hints at what could be the end of the 35-hour week, in an interview with Le Point.

Macron also said tax hikes were “too much” and while spending needs to be cut, one should be careful due to deflation risks.

Laurent Berger (CFDT) sur @itele : “cette interview de monsieur Macron est une erreur” #35heures pic.twitter.com/TSAT4g4yOJ

8.43am BST

The Saxony inflation data also shows significant drops in the price of energy, and food, echoing a recent trend in the eurozone.

#German #CPI closer look at Saxony data shows headline as expected Flat m/m all about big drag from Food (-0.6% m/m) and Fuels (-1.9% m/m)

8.30am BST

The first slice of German inflation data is out, and its mildly reassuring.

Prices in the Saxony region were flat month-on-month in August, which left the Saxony consumer prices index up 0.8% year-on-year, unchanged from July.

Flat Saxony CPI. 6th largest state by population

8.28am BST

And heres a chart with some details of Spains 0.6% growth last quarter — with household spending and building work both rising.

Details on Spain’s 0.6% q-o-q GDP. Houshold consumption up 0.7% q-o.q, net trade negative, construction up 0.9% q-o-q pic.twitter.com/INzNHaDBKu

8.20am BST

This chart shows Spains slide into deflation in recent months:

#Deflation deepens in #Spain. August HCPI -0.5% on year vs -0.4% on year in July but a tad better than expected. pic.twitter.com/Cjm6oLfK3K

8.19am BST

Prices in Spains shops kept falling this month, highlighting Europes weak inflation problem.

The Spanish consumer prices index slid to minus 0.5% year-on-year for August, down from -0.4% in July.

Spain CPi is mildly better than expected at -0.5% v -0.6% expected. So that is good news for the EUR at the margins.

*SPAIN AUG. CONSUMER PRICES FALL ANNUAL 0.5%, MOST SINCE 2009

8.10am BST

Spains statistics office has confirmed that its economy outpaced the eurozone in the last quarter, with GDP expanding by 0.6%.

That beats Germany (which contracted by 0.2%), France (flat), and the eurozone average (+0.1%) in April-June.

Spains GDP Expands 0.6% Q/q in 2Q; Prelim Expansion 0.6% http://t.co/HJysZeQolZ

8.07am BST

Overnight, UK chancellor George Osborne has been warned that Britain is still strugging to boost its exports, despite the economic recovery.

The British Chambers of Commerce said Osborne is missing his target of doubling exports by the end of the decade, as it slashed its targets for export growth.

7.58am BST

Good morning, and welcome to our rolling coverage of the financial markets, the world economy, business and finance.

Its all eyes on Germany and the eurozone this morning, with fresh data giving an insight into conditions in Europes largest economy. It will also indicate whether the European Central Bank will unleash new stimulus measures next week.

Saxony CPI coming up in 10 minutes, one of the main events of this morning as the first reading into German inflation ahead of ECB next week

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Christine Lagarde to be investigated for alleged role in political fraud case

IMF chief and former finance minister says decision to investigate her for alleged negligence is unfounded Continue reading…
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Supermarket guilt lanes: who cares the most about their customers’ health?

As Aldi announces plans to ban sweets and chocolates from its tills, we perform a supermarket sweep to see where the last-minute temptations are strongest

If you had to rank the following supermarkets Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Lidl, Marks & Spencer and Waitrose according to how much they cared for their customers’ nutritional wellbeing, who would come out top and bottom? I ask because Aldi has announced plans to ban sweets and chocolate from its tills following a 16-week trial. Its customers will no longer be forced to outstare calorific temptation while waiting for their turn to pay. Good for Aldi! So what about the rest?

At Tesco on Morning Lane, Hackney, the first stopping point on my tour of the supermarkets of London N1 and its environs, the checkouts seem spacious. Something is missing. There are only a few leaflets for Tesco bank. Not a chocolate bar in sight. The self-service tills shimmer dully with the glint of metal railings. It all looks remarkably bare; perhaps they could hang some art from the rails. At Sainsbury’s the outlook is similar. “We were one of the first supermarkets to stop stocking confectionery at main checkouts [in 2004], and we’re proud to have led the way on this,” a spokesperson says. (The policy does not extend to smaller Local stores, where impulse buys loiter and the smell of doughnuts is strong.) At Lidl the last-minute “temptations” are all about price rather than calories. The assortment is eclectic: herbal teabags, fruit and carrot juice, California walnuts and multipacks of water. Confectionery was removed from checkouts in January. A cardboard display reads “Healthy checkouts”.

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Christine Lagarde under investigation in fraud case; German consumer confidence hit by geopolitical fears – business live

The head of the International Monetary Fund has been placed under formal investigation over the Bernard Tapie case, but insists she will not resign.Earlier: Lunchtime summaryGerman consumer confidence hit by geopolitical risksFrench industrial morale d…
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RBS fined £14.5m over mortgage advice

Financial Conduct Authority found ‘serious failings’ in its advice to mortgage customers

State-backed Royal Bank of Scotland has been fined £14.5m after the City regulator found “serious failings” in its advice to mortgage customers.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said only two of the 164 sales it reviewed between June 2011 and March 2013 were considered to meet the standard required overall in a sales process.

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Posted in Banking, Business, Financial Conduct Authority, Financial sector, Money, Mortgages, Property, Regulators, Royal Bank of Scotland, UK news, World news | Comments Off