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Thursday Papers: Pound falls as King seeks more QE

And the US Fed is cooling on open-ended asset purchases as officials grow nervous about the dangers of a bigger balance sheet.

 
Thursday Papers: Pound falls as King seeks more QE

Top stories

  • Financial Times: The pound slid against the dollar and the euro on Wednesday after it emerged the governor of the Bank of England had wanted to inject more money into the economy, shocking investors that had expected rate-setters to hold fire on further asset purchases.
  • Financial Times: The US Federal Reserve is cooling on open-ended asset purchases as officials grow nervous about the dangers of a bigger balance sheet.
  • The Daily Telegraph: A clutch of global banks and funds have warned clients to steer clear of UK Gilts, fearing that the Bank of England has opened the door to "stagflation" and risks losing credibility.
  • Financial Times: RSA’s unexpected decision to slash its dividend brings to the fore questions about the sustainability of other payouts in a sector that offers some of the chunkiest yields of all listed companies.
  • Daily Mail: HSBC has scrapped staff bonuses which reward sales and is instead focusing on customer service, in a move which has affected over 20,000 employees, it revealed yesterday.
  • The Independent: BSkyB has shown it still has a stranglehold over the best new movies on pay-TV as it signed a major rights deal with Disney, dealing a blow to online movie-streaming rivals NetFlix and Amazon's LoveFilm.
  • The Independent: Britain's financial regulator is expected to publish its report into the Libor-fixing scandal early next month, it emerged yesterday.

Business and economics

  • Financial Times: John DiBacco is in line to become the head of global equities at Getco when it completes its takeover of Knight Capital, the high-frequency trading firm said on Wednesday; DiBacco once supervised Kweku Adoboli, the rogue trader who cost UBS $2.3 billion.
  • The Daily Telegraph: British defence giant BAE Systems has warned it will be forced to cut 3,500 jobs in the US if the threat of Pentagon spending cuts becomes reality.
  • Financial Times: Sony has unveiled plans to launch its next-generation PlayStation 4 games and entertainment platform by Christmas 2013 but failed to show the console it had been expected to reveal.
  • Financial Times: Anheuser-Busch InBev and the US Department of Justice agreed on Wednesday to delay litigation and engage in discussions involving the brewer’s proposed $20 billion acquisition of Grupo Modelo.
  • The Daily Telegraph: The chief executive of builders' merchant Travis Perkins has called for the Chancellor to introduce "radical measures" to kickstart the British economy.
  • Financial Times: Rathbone Brothers on Wednesday said it was seeking to make more acquisitions this year and that it has hired ex-Williams de Broë chief executive Philip Howell to help the wealth manager expand.
  • The Independent: The greatest corporate showdown in recent times is set to reach a climax today as financier Nat Rothschild seeks to oust almost all the board of Bumi, the Indonesian coal miner he co-founded.
  • Financial Times: More than 400 jobs in East Devon are in jeopardy after Axminster Carpets, the 250-year-old maker of tufted floor coverings, filed an intention to appoint administrators.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Apple shares came under renewed pressure after a hiring freeze at Foxconn, its biggest manufacturer in China, fuelled fears that demand for the bestselling iPhone is flagging.
  • Financial Times: The Obama administration raised the prospect on Wednesday of new trade measures against China and other countries as part of a new strategy to take on corporate espionage.
  • Financial Times: BTG Pactual has reported a 69% increase in net profit in its first annual results since it held its initial public offering last year.
  • The Guardian: A set of stamps featuring illustrations of Jane Austen novels goes on sale today, including newly-commissioned artwork depicting scenes from her books.
  • The Daily Telegraph: The administrators to HMV are to close another 37 shops as they battle to secure a future for the entertainment retailer, taking the total number of job losses since it collapsed to more than 1,600.
  • Financial Times: Toll Brothers announced worse than expected first-quarter earnings.
  • Financial Times: David Cameron’s vow that the coalition is cutting Britain’s deficit is in doubt after the auction of 4G broadband raised £1.2 billion less than the Treasury had predicted.
  • Financial Times: Twitter has unveiled a new automated advertising technology that promises to unlock the moneymaking potential of the microblogging site.
  • Financial Times: The US Congress is preparing new Iran sanctions legislation that would target the European Central Bank’s system for settling cross-border bank payments.
  • Financial Times: Cairn Capital has put together the first collateralised loan obligation in Europe since the financial crisis.
  • Financial Times: Gold fell 1.5% to its lowest level since July as the precious metal continued its downward slide after crossing a key technical barrier.
  • The Guardian: The number of people working in Britain reached a new record at the end of 2012 despite the continued weakness of the economy, figures showed on Wednesday.
  • Financial Times: Argos is to close its television shopping channel less than two years after its launch, as the retailer’s strategy of promoting products on TV failed to meet expectations.
  • Financial Times: Aubrey McClendon, outgoing chief executive of Chesapeake Energy, has been cleared of “intentional misconduct” in his personal finances by the company’s board after a 10-month investigation.
  • Financial Times: David Gill, the long-serving chief executive of Manchester United has stepped down after 10 years, tightening the Glazer family’s grip on the day-to-day running of the football club.
  • Financial Times: Banco Santander has reduced the pay of its top executives by more than a third as the bank’s earnings fell sharply and its share price remained below half its pre-crisis high.
  • Financial Times: Rexam, the world’s largest maker of beverage cans by volume, reported a 6% increase in can volumes compared with a year earlier partially due to the renegotiation of its contracts with Coca-Cola.
  • The Guardian: The energy company EDF is seeking more than £5 million in damages from a group of more than 20 activists who occupied one of its power stations for a week last year, in an action campaigners claim could stifle the right to protest across the country.
  • The Guardian: The founder of EasyJet, Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, is demanding that the airline addresses the "fiasco" of Boeing's grounded fleet of 787 Dreamliners.
  • Financial Times: US builders broke ground on the most new houses in four years in January, while more permits were issued, pointing to continued momentum in the housing sector recovery.
  • The Independent: Simon Denham, the boss of City spreadbetting group Capital Spreads, took a sideswipe at regulators today as he stepped down from his role.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • Financial Times: Office Depot is to merge with OfficeMax to create a US stationery retailer with combined sales of $18 billion, but the deal was marred by confusion on Wednesday after it was inadvertently announced early.
  • The Independent: Centaur Media is ready to go on the acquisition trail again.
  • The Guardian: Britain's largest estate agent group, Countrywide, is to return to the London stock market after six years in private ownership.
  • Financial Times: Travis Perkins, the building materials supplier, said the construction market might be about to turn a corner after posting a rise in pre-tax profits on Wednesday.
  • Financial Times: The New York Times Company on Wednesday said it will put its Boston Globe newspaper and related New England media properties up for sale.
  • Financial Times (Lex): NetSpend / TSYS: prepaid debt card business faces competition from the big boys who offer the same services for free but this has not put off its new owner.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Toll Brothers: earnings miss shows how high expectations can be disappointed and serves as a reminder that US housing recovery will suffer plenty of fits and starts.
  • Financial Times (Lex): RSA: investors may not be happy about cut to payout but the move will ensure the insurer has the resources to expand, particularly in emerging markets.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Lafarge: French cement company has been on a good run lately but whether this makes it the sector’s most attractive play remains open to debate.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Questor share tip): Avoid Travis Perkins, which is battling volatile construction markets.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Questor share tip): Avoid Rexam for the moment.

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