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Thursday Papers: Euro hits 8-year high against pound

Thursday Papers: Euro hits 8-year high against pound

Top stories

  • : Europe’s common currency has hit its strongest level against sterling in eight years, reflecting the diverging economic outlook for the eurozone and the UK and its implications for their respective central banks’ policymaking.
  • : The Home Office has ordered an official review of Britain's immigration figures after new exit checks at the borders found there may be fewer immigrants in the country than previously thought.
  • : In the latest blow to Provident, analysts at JP Morgan Cazenove, which acts as the company’s broker and adviser, said in its sum-of-the-parts valuation of the group that “we give zero value to HC”, Provident’s doorstep lending business, which is in the midst of a botched and costly restructuring.
  • : A big drop in marketing spending from some of the world’s largest consumer products companies forced leading ad agency WPP to issue its second sales warning of the year on Wednesday, sending its shares sharply lower and spooking investors in the sector.
  • : The US Federal Trade Commission has said it will not stand in the way of Amazon's planned $13.7 billion (£10.7 billion) takeover of upmarket grocer Whole Foods, signing off on the deal hours after it was backed by the supermarket chain's shareholders.
  • : The parliamentary committee that took on Philip Green over the BHS pension scandal is now probing how the funding hole at the UK university sector’s main retirement fund doubled to £12.6 billion in three years.

Business and economics

  • : Emergency central bank action after the financial crisis was a success but policymakers should not pretend they understand the full implications of their decisions, the president of the European Central Bank has said.
  • : Uber's bookings continued to rise in the second quarter despite the American ride-hailing company being embroiled in a string of scandals.
  • : Profit growth at the UK’s largest companies is expected to fall by more than half in 2018, a review of analyst forecasts has found, as a year of post-Brexit currency gains gives way to longer-term concerns about the economic consequences of Britain’s break with Europe.
  • : The Village Voice will cease publication of its print edition, 62 years after its culture-focused, alternative journalism first hit the streets of New York City.
  • : Playtech has signed a $150 million deal to bolster its financial trading operation as it vies to replicate its success with gambling technology in the City.
  • : Shares in retailer Game Digital jumped more than 34% after it unveiled rising sales in its second half and plans to push further into the e-sports market.
  • : Homeware and clothing retailer Laura Ashley, once popularised by Hollywood beauties such as Audrey Hepburn and Katharine Ross, posted a sharp fall in profits and said it will not pay a full-year dividend.
  • : Shares in heavily indebted UK oil explorer EnQuest fell by as much as 12% on Wednesday morning after it cut its full year production guidance because of teething problems with a vessel used to extract oil at its key Kraken field in the North Sea.
  • : Sberbank, Russia’s state-owned banking group, continued to smash records by posting net profit of Rbs185.6 billion ($3.1 billion) on Wednesday for the second quarter, on the back of healthy growth in corporate lending.
  • : Bloomberg, best known for its financial information terminals and wire service, is the latest company to enter the increasingly congested space of consulting, becoming the first major publisher to do so.
  • : The spending boom converting hard shoulders into extra lanes and other smart motorway initiatives is helping to lift earnings and dividends at Costain, which reported a 30% surge in profits in the first half of the year on revenues 10% higher at £874 million.
  • : The motor industry has been forced into reverse gear after revealing a dire set of closely-watched numbers on sales of used cars were wildly wrong.
  • : Commonwealth Bank of Australia is facing a class action lawsuit over its failure to disclose to shareholders wide-ranging money laundering allegations.
  • : Finsbury, one of Britain’s largest makers of packaged cakes, is proposing to close its loss-making London bakery business Grain D’Or after losing contracts with two of its biggest customers.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • : SELL Provident Financial; SELL Enquest.
  • : BUY Michelmersh Brick Holdings.
  • : Maersk Tankers has invested in CargoMetrics, a quantitative hedge fund backed by the likes of Paul Tudor Jones and Google’s Eric Schmidt, in order to utilise its shipping data and analytical models to improve the deployment of its fleet of vessels.
  • : Controversial Labour donor Chai Patel has bought 122 care homes from Bupa in a debt-fuelled deal that has raised concerns.
  • : US chipmaker Western Digital is scrambling to assemble a consortium to bid for Toshiba’s prized memory business, as the Japanese conglomerate’s lenders step up demands for a sale to be agreed by the end of this month, according to people familiar with the negotiations.
  • : Fed must learn from mistakes of the crisis.
  • : Sberbank: the state-owned lender is riding out sanctions, for now.
  • : WPP: Martin Sorrell is poised atop the business cycle like Caspar David Friedrich’s painting.
  • : Vista Equity: acquisition of Applause means work for the aggressive private equity firm.
  • : Neil Woodford: the asset manager is putting the tolerance of his investor fan base to the test.
  • : Chevron: cost and spending discipline have benefited the dividend.

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