Friday August 28

The latest news from The City at 8am, plus a US business update landing at 4pm

Greece's economy grew even faster than thought

Surprisingly strong expansion in the Greek economy in the second quarter has been revised even higher, with latest figures putting growth over the three months at 0.9 per cent. City AM notes that's more than the UK achieved - and well above the consensus expection for a 0.8 per cent fall. But the data won't be as strong next time for the period covering the country's near shutdown under capital controls and its ongoing political unrest ahead of snap elections.

Apple teases with invites for new iPhone showcase

Apple has sent out invitations for its latest iPhone launch event, which will take place on 9 September. The Daily Mail says the invitations said simply "Hey Siri, give us a hint", a phrase to which the personal assistant available through Apple's mobile devices would respond by pointing users to "rumour blogs". The company is expected to launch two new sister smartphones similar to its second generation iterations of the iPhone 5, as well as a new television set-top box.

Microsoft doubles downloads with Windows 10

Microsoft's launch of its new Windows 10 operating system has been a huge success, according to figures quoted by CNN Money. The company has racked up 75 million downloads of the free upgrade in the first month, double the pace of uptake for its much-criticsed Windows 8. More importantly for the business's bottom line, Windows 10 customers are downloading six times more apps than Windows 8 users from Microsoft's online store.

Royal Bank of Scotland fighting to keep US pension assets

Taxpayer-owned Royal Bank of Scotland is among a trio of European banks fighting to retain the right to manage US pension assets, after the Labor Department wrote to say it had "tentatively decided" not to propose an exemption to a ban imposed after they pleaded guilty to manipulating benchmarks. The Financial Times the damage would be more reputational than financial, as the three, also including Deutsche Bank and UBS, do not have huge pension holdings.

Quote of the day... Beijing still propping up market

"There still aren't enough genuine buyers in the market so the government is really the buyer of last resort. As soon as people sense the government's resolve to hold up the market is weakening, investors will dump stocks." David Cui, head of China equity strategy at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, tells CNBC he is unimpressed by another 5% rise on the Shanghai index, amid indications much of the buying was done by state entities.

UK exports show unexpected lift in latest data

UK trade made an expectedly strong contribution to UK growth in the second quarter, the FT says, as exporters defied a strong pound and apparently subdued overseas demand. Exports grew by 3.9 per cent, the ONS said on Friday, as net trade passed on a full one percentage point benefit to growth, which was confirmed at 0.7 per cent for the three months.


FTSE-100: down 0.53% to 6158.91 
Dow Jones: down 2.27% at 16654.77 
Dax: down 0.55% to 10258.42 
Cac-40: down 0.41% to 4639.28 
Nikkei: up 1.98% to 19053
Hang Seng: down 1.04% to 21612.39 
US dollar: buys €0.8877 and £0.6494
Sterling: buys $1.5391 and €1.3661
Oil: $47.09 down 0.99%