Companies, Markets and Finance
Company news, markets and financial talking points, available from 8am Monday to Friday
Government borrowing costs hit a record low yesterday over fears that Britain could sink into deflation. Yields on benchmark ten-year gilts slumped below 1.4% after Mark Carney warned that inflation was likely to turn negative for a period. Meanwhile, reports The Times, public expectations of price growth dropped to the lowest reading ever.
Young workers have been hit hardest by the wages slump since the financial crash, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies. The thinktank found that wages were 1% lower in the third quarter of 2014 than in the same period 13 years earlier, after taking inflation into account. “Between 2008 and 2014, there is a clear pattern across the age spectrum, with larger falls in earnings at younger ages,” said the report.
A commodities billionaire is reeling after suffering the biggest ever personal paper losses as Glencore shares hit an all-time low this month. The value of Ivan Glasenberg’s stake in the mining firm has halved, leaving him staring at a personal paper loss of more than £3bn after the prices of commodities – including copper and iron ore – slumped.
Amazon has posted weaker profits for the busy Christmas period, says the BBC. However, the online retail giant also revealed a 15% rise in sales, which cheered investors. In a day of mixed news from the firm, it revealed a net profit of $214m (£142m) for the last three months of 2014, a drop of $25m on the same period in 2013 but an improvement on the previous quarter.
Germany has slipped into deflation for the first time in more than five years as it joins the European crisis. The Daily Telegraph says Germany may not see inflation again until 2016. According to preliminary estimates from statistics agency Destatis, inflation fell below zero for the first time since October 2009, as prices dropped by 0.3% in the year to January.
“One analyst said Apple’s momentum was relentless and he struggled to see where it could come undone. That sounds exactly like the kind of comment that gets bandied around before a company suffers a spectacular fall from grace.” Ben Wright reminds the tech giant that pride can come before a fall.
FTSE-100: down -0.22 to 6810.60
Dow Jones: up +1.31 to 17416.85
Dax: up +0.25 to 10737.87
Cac-40: up +0.44 to 4631.43
Nikkei: up +0.39 to 17674.39
Hang Seng: down -0.07 to 24577.97
US dollar: buys €0.88240 and £0.66310
Sterling: buys $1.50810 and €1.33060
Oil: $49.04 up +1.2