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Saturday Papers: US job figures set alarm bells ringing

American employers added 88,000 jobs in March - less than half what was expected.

 
Saturday Papers: US job figures set alarm bells ringing

Top stories

  • Financial Times: US employers added 88,000 jobs in March - less than half what was expected - jolting markets and triggering concerns about a fresh slowdown in the world’s largest economy.
  • Financial Times (Lex): US jobs: long-term trend suggests sector is a diminishing source of employment, as the big chains cut back in response to the shift towards online shopping.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Portugal's constitutional court rejected four out of nine austerity measures from this year's budget in a ruling that deals a blow to government finances, but is unlikely to derail the bailed-out country's reforms.
  • Financial Times: Sir James Crosby stepped down from his position as an adviser to Bridgepoint, the private equity firm after, in a report on HBOS, the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards described him as the “architect of the strategy that set the course for disaster”.
  • The Independent: Some Bank of England regulators wanted lenders to be forced to raise even more fresh capital than the £25 billion they were told to produce last week, minutes from the latest meeting of the Financial Policy Committee indicate.
  • Financial Times: BP has failed in its attempt to win a court order blocking what the UK oil and gas group describes as “absurd” compensation payments on “fictitious” claims for business losses following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster.
  • Financial Times: US stock indices recovered some of the early losses on Friday but recorded the steepest weekly declines this year after disappointing jobs data; the S&P 500 index closed 0.4% lower at 1,553 and recorded a 1% drop on the week; the Dow Jones fell 0.3% to 14,490 and lost 0.1% over the week; Nasdaq lost 0.7% to 3,204 and was down 0.8% on the week.
  • The Independent: The famous French department store, Printemps - spring in French - is about to be taken over by a Qatari consortium for a reported €1.6 billion.

Business and economics

  • Financial Times: Britain has held on to its triple A rating from Standard & Poor’s.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Supermarket price wars intensified on Friday after Morrisons accused Tesco of "misleading" customers with its Price Promise by not including all of its products.
  • Financial Times: Vladimir Putin has accused European leaders of undermining confidence in their banks by scalping uninsured depositors in Cypriot lenders, including many Russians.
  • Financial Times: Stephen Billingham, the head of Punch Taverns, hit out at disgruntled bondholders for not coming up with a viable alternative to the pub company’s latest restructuring offer which some spurned last week.
  • Financial Times: Facebook’s launch this week of Home, its new “super app” for Android smartphones, has been seen as an attempt to undercut the dominant companies in mobile, Apple and Google.
  • The Guardian: Drug companies are paying an estimated £40 million a year to British doctors in service fees, flights, hotel and other travel expenses, according to the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry.
  • Financial Times: Working conditions at Amazon have again come under the spotlight in Germany, its biggest overseas market, after employees in the eastern city of Leipzig voted to strike in support of higher pay.
  • Financial Times: HMV, the collapsed entertainment retailer, has been rescued by Hilco, the restructuring specialist, saving about 2,500 jobs and delivering a rare glimpse of hope for the high street.
  • Financial Times: Asian commodities group Olam has dropped its lawsuit against Carson Block, marking a further retreat from a bruising encounter with the prominent US shortseller who predicted last year the company was close to failure.
  • Financial Times: Two senior executives at Old Mutual have shared a £12 million pay package, under schemes devised three years ago to reward them for reviving the financial services group’s fortunes.
  • Financial Times: In the first three months of this year, Cranswick, the UK pork processor achieved a 13% rise in underlying sales.
  • Financial Times: UBS provided a secret loan of about $5.5 billion to enable a Thai company to purchase HSBC’s stake in a Chinese insurer earlier this year, sources said.
  • Financial Times: EasyJet has narrowed its range of forecast losses for the first half of its financial year to between £60 million and £65 million.
  • Financial Times: Samsung Electronics on Friday said first-quarter operating profit would be stronger than expected.
  • Financial Times: Severfield-Rowen’s balance sheet received a much-needed boost on Friday after shareholders in the lossmaking provider of structural steel overwhelmingly backed a £48 million emergency fundraising.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Airlines and travel companies came under severe pressure amid concerns over the impact of a new strain of bird flu.
  • Financial Times: Prudential chief executive Tidjane Thiam earned £7.8 million last year despite calls by some shareholders for pay restraint.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • Financial Times: Anheuser-Busch InBev said on Friday it had reached an agreement with the US Department of Justice on antitrust challenges to its $20 billion move for Grupo Modelo.
  • The Daily Telegraph: The European Union's antitrust watchdog on Friday gave its green light to the proposed merger of Penguin and Random House that will create the world's largest book publisher.
  • Financial Times: Telecom Italia has held talks with Hong Kong’s Hutchison Whampoa about a potential merger with H3G, Italy’s smallest mobile group.
  • Financial Times: Jeff Bezos of Amazon is making his first significant investment in the news media by leading a $5 million financing package for the six-year old Business Insider website.
  • Financial Times: Peter Chernin, former chief operating officer of News Corp, has made a formal $500 million bid for Hulu, the online video site owned by News Corp and Walt Disney.
  • Financial Times: Diageo is unlikely to increase its holding in Indian group United Spirits after it opted not to raise the price for its mandatory takeover offer above Rp1,440 a share.
  • Financial Times: Royal Dutch Shell and Gazprom Neft are to sign a deal to jointly develop some of Russia’s vast Arctic oil and gas resources, as well as its “tight” oil riches in western Siberia.
  • Financial Times: Booker is expected to get regulatory clearance to acquire Makro UK, the British cash-and-carry business of German group Metro, within weeks – after its agreement of a £150 million deal last year.
  • The Guardian: Fisker, the struggling, US government-backed hybrid sports car maker, terminated most of its rank-and-file employees on Friday, in a last-ditch effort to conserve cash and stave off a potential bankruptcy filing, sources said.
  • Financial Times (Editorial): The legacy of more than a decade of much less than masterly inactivity is forcing the BoJ into its desperately risky course. Europeans must hope that a similar willed impotence does not afflict the ECB. If it does, the damage to the fragile eurozone may be even bigger.
  • Financial Times (Editorial): Banking values: the UK needs a strong financial sector and the standing of bankers clearly needs to improve. But it will only do so when the quality of decision making is better and bankers have a less hubristic view of their value.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Tesla Motors: investors who want company’s share price to remain in orbit must consider whether there is a legitimate market for a $70,000-plus electric car.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Prada: fashion brand risks losing its lustre as China’s love affair with luxury wanes, with 2012 figures showing a fall in same-store sales growth.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Bank deposits: the Cypriot crisis has left lots of scope for uncertainty, and nowhere more so than in the hierarchy of who gets what when a lender collapses.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): Report has managed to generate some good headlines, but otherwise makes for little more than tomorrow's chip paper.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): Sir James Crosby's tenure as Compass's senior independent director was looking increasingly shaky on Friday night after the contract caterer refused to back him.
  • The Guardian (Comment): The chairman and chief executive of any failed bank should automatically be banned from working in financial services.
  • Daily Mail (Comment): The timing of the publication of the Prudential’s annual report is more than slightly unfortunate. Rewarding Tidjane Thiam with a remuneration package of £7.8 million days after he was censured by the FSA looks heedless.
  • The Independent (Comment): The best things in life may be free...but I fear Facebook Home won't be.

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