The Business: Tuesday May 6 2014

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

SHOP BY HASHTAG WITH AMAZON DEAL

Amazon has revealed a partnership with Twitter that allows users to add products to their shopping baskets using a special hashtag. By replying to tweets containing a link to an Amazon product with #amazonbasket, UK users can automatically add the product to the basket of their Amazon account. Users will still need to go to the online retailer’s website to pay and complete the purchase. Last week, Twitter reported a net loss of $132m (£78m) for the first quarter.

UK ECONOMY BASKS IN HAT-TRICK OF GOOD NEWS

The British economy is enjoying a hat-trick of good news, with business confidence reaching a new high and the European Commission and PwC upgrading their growth forecasts. The Daily Telegraph reports the European Commission’s announcement that Britain's rapid growth rate will become "ingrained" and more balanced. It now expects the UK economy to grow by 2.7% in 2014, up from a forecast of 2.5% three months ago.

REVENUE FALL DEALS BLOW TO PFIZER BID

Pfizer’s £63 billion takeover bid for AstraZeneca has been dealt a heavy blow by disappointing first-quarter sales, reports The Times. A worse than expected 9% fall in revenue for the quarter to March 30, wiped an estimated £1.6bn from the value of its offer. The fall comes on the back of increased generic competition to some of Pfizer’s blockbuster drugs. Pfizer shares fell 2.5% in New York to close at $29.96.

EUROZONE INFLATION FORECAST CUT

The European Commission has cut its inflation forecast for the eurozone for the second time in 2014, says The Times. However, the Commission also claimed the risk of deflation remained low. New forecasts issued yesterday predict that consumer prices in the eurozone will now rise by just 0.8% this year, down from its forecast of 1% in February and 1.5% in November last year. Brussels is forecasting growth across the EU on the back of strong momentum in the UK.

QUOTE OF THE DAY… IS APPLE ENTERING BIO-SENSING?

“This is a very specific play in the bio-sensing space.” Malay Gandhi, from venture capital firm Rock Health, joins speculation over why Apple has hired a raft of top medical experts.

TESCO TO LAUNCH ITS OWN SMARTPHONE

Tesco will launch its first own-brand smartphone within months. The phone will run Google's Android software, says the BBC, with a specification similar to the Samsung Galaxy S5. Announcing the plan, chief executive Philip Clarke also hinted that he intends to stay on as boss until 2020. He told the Radio 5 Live’s Wake Up To Money programme: "I'm 54 and I have been at it for 40 years. I think normally in Britain people like me retire at 60 and that gives me another six years."

THE NUMBERS... AT 0730 GMT


FTSE-100: up +0.20 to 6822.42
Dow Jones: up +0.11 to 16530.55
Dax: down -0.28 to 9529.50
Cac-40: up +0.10 to 4462.69
Nikkei: down -0.19 to 14457.51
Hang Seng: down -1.28 to 21976.33
US dollar: buys €0.72040 and £0.59210
Sterling: buys $1.68870 and €1.21690
Oil: $107.72 down -0.0