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Thursday Papers: Shale powers US oil output to heights of 1970

And Capita’s new chief executive warns company is ‘too complex’ as shares drop 45% on profit warning.

Thursday Papers: Shale powers US oil output to heights of 1970

Top stories

  • Financial Times: Janet Yellen kept the Federal Reserve on course for a further interest rate rise in March in her final meeting as chair of the central bank, with the inflation outlook strengthening and America’s jobs market continuing to heat up.
  • Financial Times: UK outsourcing giant Capita admitted on Wednesday that it is “far too complex” and has relied too much on acquisitions for growth, sparking a major share sell-off and amplifying concerns about the health of the wider sector in the wake of Carillion’s collapse.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Amazon has emerged as a booming source of international sales for small British businesses, with exports from British sellers increasing by a quarter last year.
  • The Times: Facebook has cut the time that its users spend on its network by 50 million hours a day as it attempts to stamp out hate speech, violent videos and Russian propaganda.
  • Financial Times: US oil production has returned to its record high point, 47 years after the previous peak during the final days of the last Texas oil boom, as the shale revolution that was temporarily set back by low crude prices has reignited.
  • Financial Times: Banks across the EU are to be tested to make sure they can withstand potential doomsday Brexit consequences, including a severe recession that would leave the bloc’s economy 8.3% smaller than it otherwise would have been.

Business and economics

  • The Times: Member states of the European Union have all but ruled out including financial services in a wide-ranging free-trade deal with Britain.
  • Financial Times: The strength of the recovery in global steel markets was underlined as ArcelorMittal, the world’s largest producer of the metal, posted a more than one-third increase in its annual core profits and reinstated dividend payments.
  • The Times: Boeing delivered a double boost to its investors and the wider New York market yesterday by revealing that it had broken the industry record for commercial aircraft sales in 2017 and expected to break it again this year.
  • Financial Times: Nintendo has unveiled a big jump in operating profits and a dramatic upgrade to its full-year outlook as Super Mario, its most consistent superstar over more than three decades, once again outperformed for the company.
  • The Guardian: The boom in UK film and prestige TV drama production accelerated in 2017, with total investment in titles including Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Dunkirk and The Crown hitting a record of almost £3 billion.
  • Daily Mail: Demand for fizzy drinks helped Hertfordshire-based soft drinks firm Britvic boost first quarter global sales by 3.3%.
  • The Times: Microsoft’s cloud computing division nearly doubled its sales at the end of last year as demand for data storage and processing power continued to rise.
  • The Daily Telegraph: A steep rise in costs weighed on Wizz Air in spite of a massive spike in passengers helping it hit a record for the end of 2017.
  • Daily Mail: Santander UK's exposure to collapsed services giant Carillion has hit the bank's annual profits, latest figures reveal.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Fears over TalkTalk’s ability to pay its dividend and service its debts in the face of a sustained assault on the UK broadband market by Vodafone have today prompted investors to pull hundreds of millions of pounds out of the operator.
  • Financial Times: Investors piled the pressure on Hennes & Mauritz and its chief executive on Wednesday, pushing its shares to their lowest level since the financial crisis after the retailer admitted to “mistakes” in its strategy.
  • The Times: Coca-Cola is planning to close two of its ten British plants with the loss of up to 288 jobs as part of an efficiency drive.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Marks & Spencer has unveiled plans to close up to 14 shops, putting around 500 jobs at risk, as the high street stalwart takes a more ruthless approach to its struggling stores.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Virgin Media has abandoned plans to launch a cheaper service amid intense competition in the broadband market.
  • The Guardian: The troubled burger chain Byron is to close up to 20 restaurants, nearly a third of its outlets, after a rescue plan was agreed.
  • The Times: Rolls-Royce has turned to one of its old boys to fill a hole left by the departure of Eric Schulz, its chief salesman, to Airbus; the Derby-based engineering group is to replace Mr Schulz by moving Chris Cholerton, head of its defence businesses, to run the larger commercial operations that Mr Schulz had overseen.
  • Financial Times: HSBC has appointed Charlie Nunn as its head of retail banking and wealth management to replace John Flint, who is stepping up to become chief executive of Europe’s biggest bank on 21 February.
  • The Daily Telegraph: The energy regulator has promised MPs it will toughen up on the returns energy network companies can make from the multi-billion pound investments in the gas and power grids after a group of MPs attacked their “obscene profits”.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Two powerful committees of MPs have launched separate inquiries into protections for small businesses in the wake of the RBS Global Restructuring Group (GRG) scandal and the collapse of outsourcing giant Carillion.
  • Financial Times: Steinhoff International, the global retail conglomerate engulfed in one of South Africa’s biggest ever accounting scandals, has reported its former chief executive to the police.

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