Friday February 12 2016

Company news, markets and financial talking points, available from 8am Monday to Friday

Anxiety rattles markets and hits borrowing costs

Global markets endured a jittery day yesterday. Share prices around the world dived, with the FTSE 100 index falling by 135 points to 5,537, a low point not reached since the eurozone crisis in summer 2012. In a particularly nervous period, the UK government's ten-year borrowing costs tumbled to 1.225 per cent, before climbing back to 1.28 per cent, still an all-time low.

Lagarde set for second IMF term

Christine Lagarde has been nominated for a second five-year term at the helm of the International Monetary Fund. She was the only nominee for the position and analysts say there were no obvious challengers for the job. The former French finance minister received support from the UK, Germany, China, and France, among other countries.

Gold buying hits highest level since crisis

Panic on the markets has pushed gold buying to its highest level since the financial crisis, says the Daily Telegraph. Investors seeking shelter from market volatility have stampeded towards funds that invest in gold. ETF Securities, the index fund provider, says Wednesday saw the most money flow into Gold Bullion Securities, its gold-tracking fund, since the start of 2009, with £239m invested.

Advertisers to track O2 customers' Tube journeys

From today, O2 customers in London will have their Tube journeys and browsing activity tracked by advertisers. Exterion Media will use information held by the mobile giant on its customers' wealth, age, gender and hobbies to target advertising at passengers. The media firm was previously behind the campaign that saw London's Routemaster buses covered in giant Adidas adverts.

Quote of the day… Stop with the banter!

"However, such banter is now almost routine, with this past Super Bowl weekend featuring KFC calling Cap'n Crunch 'a has-been', Taco Bell and Old Spice wittering away about their products' ingredients, Mini USA tweeting Coca-Cola about how 'Fun can come in any size', and tediously on." Sathnam Sanghera of The Times preferred it when companies didn't try to be chummy with him.

Oil prices fall back on global growth fears

The price of oil fell back to 12-year lows yesterday amid fears over global growth. Prices were driven down by a trio of factors: record US supply figures; the prospects of weaker demand, and a forecast from Goldman Sachs that the price will stay low for the rest of this year. Brent crude has fallen 75 per cent, from $115 a barrel in the summer of 2014 to below $30 yesterday. It dropped as low as $27 last month.

THE NUMBERS... AT 0644 GMT

FTSE-100: down -2.39 to 5536.97
Dow Jones: down -1.60 to 15660.18
Dax: down -2.93 to 8752.87
Cac-40: down -4.05 to 3896.71
Nikkei: down -3.56 to 15154.42
Hang Seng: down -1.08 to 18345.83
US dollar: buys €0.88450 and £0.69130
Sterling: buys $1.44670 and €1.22970
Oil: $30.77 down -0.2