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Friday Papers: Weak UK retail sales flag emerging economic squeeze

And three Bank of England officials have called for UK interest rates to rise in a surprise move.

 
Friday Papers: Weak UK retail sales flag emerging economic squeeze

Top stories

  • Financial Times: UK retail sales grew at the slowest rate for four years last month, the latest sign of an emerging squeeze in living standards as higher prices prompt shoppers to tighten their belts; sales volumes fell 1.2%; retail sales were 0.9% higher in May compared with the same month last year.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Three Bank of England officials have called for UK interest rates to rise in a surprise move that signals policymakers are more concerned about rising inflation even as the economy slows; however, the interest rates were kept on hold at a record low of 0.25%.
  • The Guardian: Eurozone finance ministers agree to lend Greece €8.5 billion under its bailout programme, with a commitment to debt relief in the future.
  • Daily Mail: The pound jumped a cent on the dollar today after three of eight Bank of England policymakers called for a rate hike to 0.5% to contain rising inflation.
  • The Times: Slack, the corporate chat start-up that was co-founded by a young British software engineer, has been approached by Amazon about a takeover deal that could value the company at more than $9 billion.
  • Financial Times: Facebook has developed artificial intelligence technology to help it identify terrorist posts.

Business and economics

  • Daily Express: Pensions pots are under pressure as the redundancy rate for older workers hits a record high, warn retirement experts.
  • Daily Mail: Precious stones specialist Gemfields said it made record revenues of £42.9 million from its latest auction of rubies from Mozambique, held in Singapore.
  • The Times: The chief executive of Firstgroup has had his £723,415 annual bonus withheld because of the Croydon tram crash in which seven people died and 58 were injured.
  • The Guardian: More than half of Morrisons shareholders have failed to back the supermarket’s bosses’ pay package in a massive protest vote.
  • Daily Mail: The property market continued to slowed in May as fewer people are moving home, according to latest research from Connells Survey and Valuation.
  • The Independent: Airbnb has said that it expects to boost communities in Europe, which is its biggest market, by an estimated €340 billion of economic output by 2020 and that it will support an estimated 1 million jobs across the region by that year.
  • Daily Mail: Clare Francis has been appointed by Standard Chartered as the European head of its global banking division.
  • The Independent: Spotify now has over 140 million users worldwide, a surge of around 40 million users over the past year alone, the online music platform announced on Thursday.
  • Daily Mail: Moody’s has upgraded Royal Bank of Scotland’s debt rating in a move suggesting it has growing faith in the lender’s future.
  • The Times: The South African government has raised the minimum threshold for black ownership of mining companies to 30% in a surprise move that weakened the rand and knocked shares in the London-quoted mining groups Anglo American and Petra Diamonds.
  • Daily Express: The euro has dropped sharply after America's central bank raised interest rates last night; it plunged to 1.1143 against its American counterpart on Thursday, the lowest level in a fortnight.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Majestic Wine, the UK’s largest wine retailer, said sales were up nearly 16% in the year to 3 April, with underlying revenues rising 11.4% to £461 million on a year-on-year basis.
  • The Guardian: Britain’s car insurers suffered combined losses of £3.5 billion last year due to controversial new compensation rules for serious injuries, according to a report which predicts further sharp rises in insurance premiums, especially for young drivers.
  • Daily Mail: Tycoon has snatched back the tech firm Fusionex from investors as its value plunged £116 million; the software firm was listed in London five years ago; CEO Ivan Teh is now tryig to delist it from the Alternative Investment Market.
  • The Guardian: The system meltdown that left 75,000 British Airways passengers stranded at the start of the May half-term holiday cost the airline £80 million, shareholders have been told.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Engineering consultancy WS Atkins has delivered a a final flourish in what looks to be its last set of results before it is taken over by Canadian peer SNC-Lavalin.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • The Times (Tempus share tips): BUY Drax; HOLD Safestore Holdings; HOLD Newriver REIT.
  • Daily Mail: Cavendish Asset Management, the biggest shareholder at fallen tech star Monitise, has hit out at a planned £70 million takeover by US business Fiserv.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Shares in sofa giant DFS have plunged by more than 20% after it blamed uncertainty around the general election for a profit warning.
  • The Times: Gherkin, one of London’s most distinctive modern buildings, could be up for sale with a price tag of £1 billion.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Regeneration firm Pinnacle has been sold by its Chinese owner to private equity firm Starwood and a newly-established asset management firm.
  • Daily Mail: Shareholders have waved through the £2.2 billion takeover of oil services provider Amec Foster Wheeler by rival Wood Group.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Fast-growing industrials business Liberty has been spurned in its attempts to buy Australian collapsed steel and mining business Arrium.
  • The Daily Telegraph: The latest slice of Domino’s Pizza to float on the London stock market has been priced at up to £330 million ahead of its forthcoming listing.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Sky and Virgin Media have finalised a deal to join forces in an attempt to challenge Google and Facebook in the digital advertising market.
  • The Guardian (Comment): Bank of England doves right to thwart hawks seeking interest rate rise.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): Why UK interest rates won’t go up any time soon.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): A hard Brexit risks no Brexit at all.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Indian banks: private-sector lenders exposed to the consumer sector should outperform.
  • Financial Times (Lex): European takeovers: the push for more power to block hostile bids should be resisted.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Tech entrepreneurs: the tendency of founder-led groups to produce outsized returns is unlikely to last.
  • Financial Times (Lex): DFS: consumer confidence may return but structural issues persist.

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