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Thursday Papers: Oil slides below $35 for the first time since 2004

And the World Bank has warned that a synchronised slowdown in the biggest emerging markets could be intensified by a fresh bout of financial turmoil.

 
Thursday Papers: Oil slides below $35 for the first time since 2004

Top stories

  • Financial Times: Oil’s volatile start to the year continued on Wednesday after Brent crude sank below $35 a barrel for the first time since 2004 as a relentless rise in global production overshadowed geopolitical upheavals.
  • The Guardian: The World Bank has warned that a synchronised slowdown in the biggest emerging markets could be intensified by a fresh bout of financial turmoil.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Britain needs to be "shaken" out of complacency as its prosperity will be threatened by a "dangerous cocktail" of global risks in the coming year, Chancellor George Osborne will warn on Thursday.
  • Financial Times: Several big investors in J Sainsbury have raised questions over one of the key planks of the supermarket’s attempted deal to buy Argos owner Home Retail Group.
  • Financial Times: Activist investor Starboard Value has called for a shake-up of management at Yahoo.
  • Financial Times: Netflix has launched its streaming services in 130 more countries, raising the stakes in its global battle with Amazon for supremacy in online video.
  • Financial Times: Shire’s potential $32 billion takeover of Baxalta is dependent on whether the UK-listed drugmaker can pay for a large part of the deal in cash without triggering a big tax bill, sources said.

Business and economics

  • The Independent: Lloyds Banking Group is embroiled in a new investigation by UK regulators into potential manipulation of government debt prices by one of its traders.
  • The Independent: DC Thomson, the Dundee-based publisher of titles including The Beano comic, shrugged off falling circulation to lift profits 20% last year, according to Companies House accounts.
  • The Independent: Republican frontrunner Donald Trump has threatened to withhold £700 million of investment in Scotland if he is banned from entering the UK.
  • The Guardian: The shine has come off Lumosity with an announcement by federal investigators that the makers must pay $2 million to settle a charge that it made fraudulent claims and “preyed on consumers’ fears”.
  • The Guardian: As many as 245 Argos shops could close if Sainsbury’s secures a deal to buy Home Retail Group.
  • The Guardian: Apple suppliers have come under pressure following a report the company may cut iPhone production sharply this quarter on weaker demand.
  • The Guardian: Everyman Media, the upmarket cinema chain, said business was strong as moviegoers flocked to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Spectre and The Theory of Everything.
  • The Guardian: John Lewis enjoyed a better than expected Christmas, grabbing market share from rivals, as the department store benefited from a surge in shopping via mobile phones.
  • Daily Mail: Card Factory, greetings card specialist, has poached an executive from discount retailer B&M Bargains to replace its retiring boss Richard Hayes.
  • The Guardian: Thousands of customers of Bradford & Bingley face the prospect of having their mortgages sold off to another lender as the government prepares £17 billion of home loans for sale.
  • Financial Times: Thousands of entrepreneurs are expected to liquidate their companies over the next three months amid fears that an imminent tightening of the tax rules will more than triple their bills.
  • Financial Times: Middle Eastern investors searching for secure income streams outside an increasingly turbulent region committed record sums to UK commercial property in 2015.
  • Financial Times: Topps Tiles, the UK’s largest flooring chain, posted a healthy rise in like-for-like sales over the winter period.
  • Financial Times: The media industry must adopt a common measurement system for content that appears on television, smartphones and other devices to avoid confusing advertisers, according to Nielsen, the research company.
  • Financial Times: Volkswagen has turned to the “peace and love” spirit of the 1960s in an effort to deflect scandal hanging over it, unveiling an all-electric concept car inspired by its famous hippy vans, just one day after being slapped with a lawsuit by the US government over its diesel emissions controversy.
  • Financial Times: Malaysia Airlines has been forced into an embarrassing U-turn after banning passengers from checking in luggage on certain long-haul flights, only to swiftly reverse the decision after an online outcry.
  • The Daily Telegraph: BAE Systems was catapulted to the top of the FTSE 100 yesterday after RBC Capital Markets declared the stock its “top pick” in the European aerospace and defence sector.
  • The Daily Telegraph: China’s attempts to stabilise its currency have led it to freeze out at least three banks including Standard Chartered and Deutsche Bank from parts of the renminbi foreign exchange market.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • The Daily Telegraph: Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct has revived its interest in Umbro by taking a 9% stake in the troubled American company that owns the classic sports brand.
  • The Independent (Comment): Saudi Arabia's troubled economy could bring down ruling House of Saud.
  • The Guardian (Comment): Denials and devaluation as China's currency tumbles to five-year low.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Swiss luxury: currencies matter less than Chinese consumers.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Casio: the group needs a reminder of how it managed to stand the test of time.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Evergrande: a speculative strategy has done well with speculators.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Fitbit: new smartwatch was received poorly but acquisitions could still be on the table.

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